Bitcoin Opponents Use the Paris Massacre to Defame Cryptocurrency

News and Analysis

In the wake of the tragic events in Paris, some cryptocurrency-related sources started spreading information on allegedly existing proofs of terrorist funding via bitcoin. Thus, NewsBTC, with reference to an anonymous representative of Ghost Security Group (GSG), a self-proclained international group of counter-terrorist hackers, claims that the Islamic State has custody of bitcoin wallets containing roughly $3 million worth of cryptocurrency.

However, this wallet’s address is omitted from the publication, which gives rise to doubt in legitimacy of such announcements. As one of bitcoin’s and blockchain’s essential features is complete publicity of transaction data, one should speculate about the Islamic State’s bitcoin wallets and $3 million contained therein with provision of the said bitcoin address.

“We have managed to uncover several Bitcoin addresses used by them. One of the accounts we analyzed was found to contain 3 million U.S. dollars worth of Bitcoins. Most of the Bitcoin funding sites utilized by the Islamic State are on the deep web and we have managed to uncover several and successfully shut them down in order to limit the funding extremists receive through the use of cryptocurrencies,” says GSG’s anonymous source according to NewsBTC.

One should remember that bitcoin transactions remain anonymous only to a particular level as converting cryptocurrency into fiat currency inevitably results in disclosure of at least some part of personal data. Law enforcement agencies have an opportunity to access those data to reveal the sender and the receiver of the funds.

There are no news concerning any arrests in relation to the account mentioned by GSG, which also challenges this information’s trustworthiness.

Usage of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin by shadow economy, be it black markets of the darkweb, or real-world criminal organizations, is hardly a secret. Moreover, it is among most favorite arguments of decentralized technology opponents employed to justify bitcoin banning.

However, the community and experts have formulated relevant counter-arguments as bitcoin banning in any jurisdiction does not prevent its shadow usage, while criminals hardly care about what to use.

After all, if we assess terrorism financing in USD (which is incomparably higher than that of bitcoin), Euros, or any other currency, we might deduce that those currencies should be banned as well.

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