Camila Russo, a financial journalist who focuses on cryptocurrencies stated that she had been speaking to an FBI official who supervised cryptocurrency and black market cases, in a recent panel discussion at Bloomberg conference.
The FBI official who was also a blockchain analyst revealed to Russo that in the initial days about 90% of the Bitcoin [BTC] transactions were used in the black market. Currently, only 10% are using Bitcoin for black market operations and the rest is just speculation. She added:
“The evasion has really come down from where it was in the early days… So we’re seeing very little, you know, fundamental use for Bitcoin like as it was intended as a digital money.”
The FBI agent added that Bitcoin was mainly used to to make transactions in the black market space. Furthermore, an increase in market speculation resulted in an overall increase of Bitcoin transaction, leaving only 10% of those people who actually use Bitcoin to purchase goods and services.
Thus, there was a probability that the usage of Bitcoin in the dark market space continues to remain the same or could have increased by time, she said. Russo further added:
“Its like, black market transactions and money laundering and all of that are still a bigger use case for Bitcoin than remittances and cross-border transfer something more like legitimate use cases”
She added that the technology was still very cumbersome to use and there is a need for improvements in technical knowledge. Russo said that technology was not efficient enough for mass adoption.
The discussion with the FBI agent further revealed that the authorities are often glad to get cases related to the black market or money laundering. This was because people usually used Bitcoin for such transactions which in turn was very easy to track.
According to Camila, individuals had this misperception that Bitcoin and digital currencies were anonymous and could not be easily tracked. She further stated that this was in fact not the case and digital currencies were actually “pseudonymous”. This meant that transactions could be tracked very easily by connecting it to an IP address and this would actually help law enforcement officials.
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