The huge increase in price that Bitcoin has experienced over the past year has led some people to think of the cryptocurrency as the future of the finance. Of course, this tends to completely ignore the fact that Bitcoin still has one huge problem that it cannot seem to get rid of, and that is its huge link to money laundering and criminal activity. In this way, Bitcoin really might be the future, at least as far as crime is concerned.
Crime, the DarkWeb and Bitcoin Money Laundering
Although its proponents continue to claim that the currency itself isn’t to blame, the fact remains that Bitcoin is now the favored means for paying for a wide range of illicit, criminal and immoral activities. One prime example came a few years back when US federal law enforcement finally shut down the infamous ‘Silk Road,’ a popular online drug emporium where users could find and purchase any drug in any quantity and pay for it all anonymously with Bitcoins.
Although the ‘Silk Road’ may no longer exist, numerous other DarkWeb emporiums have popped up to take its place. Nowadays, the offerings aren’t just limited to drugs, but weapons, prostitution (including child prostitution) and virtually anything else you could possibly imagine. Looking for a hit man? No problem, as long as you have enough Bitcoins.
Of course, the anonymity of Bitcoin also makes it the perfect choice not just for paying for illicit transactions, but also for criminal money laundering. One of the reasons that many governments around the world don’t yet allow legal Bitcoin trade is that they’re worried about the many potential benefits the cryptocurrency will provide to criminal organizations. In essence, Bitcoin allows criminals to easily launder their profits and hide their money from the government.
Anonymity Isn’t Always a Good Thing
Proponents of Bitcoin point to its total anonymity as one of its major benefits, and this is definitely true if you’re a criminal looking to hide your illicit profits through Bitcoin money laundering. Otherwise, there’s really no need for this type of anonymity.
The fact that Bitcoin is such a favorite tool of criminals means that criminal organizations are definitely amongst those who have profited the most from the cryptocurrencies recent price spike. Luckily, there are other cryptocurrencies that don’t have such a strong link to criminal activity, which means you can safely invest in digital currencies without having to worry about supporting organized crime.