Europol Report Reveals That Bitcoin Has Not Funded any Terror Attacks in Europe
A Europol report has divulged that Bitcoin and similar virtual coins were not used to fund any of the recent terror attacks in Europe. It showcases a lucid picture of the contribution of cryptocurrencies to online crime.
The report is titled as Internet Organized Threat Assessment 2018. It's a 72-page long document. Ranging from ransomware attacks to child pornography, it thoroughly touches upon the various aspects of online crime. The report refers to Bitcoin on 18 pages to discuss its alleged and confirmed use in several illegal operations online, including terrorism.
A handful of sympathizing terrorist groups called for Bitcoin donations, in the past. These include Dawaalhaq Islamic News Agency, Akhbar al- Muslimin, and Isdarat. Nevertheless, they solicited cryptocurrency funds only for financing their online infrastructure and for purchasing hosting servers. However, one crypto-funded, English-language social media campaign known as Sadaqah allegedly targeted Muslims in the west to recruit them as fighters for the ongoing war in Syria.
Dawaalhaq Islamic News Agency, Akhbar al- Muslimin, and Isdarat. Nevertheless, they solicited cryptocurrency funds only for financing their online infrastructure and for purchasing hosting servers.
The report stated that despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded using digital assets or cryptocurrencies. The utilization of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions. It also stated that their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services.
As per Europol, neither bitcoin nor any cryptocurrency, but conventional banking and remittance services, continue to be terrorist groups' main sources of funding.
The closing marks that the Jihadist networks could be simply experimenting with cryptocurrencies. It goes against the popular notion suggesting Bitcoin's use in mainstream terrorist activities. Moreover, it is unlikely of terrorists to opt a currency that is more transparent and hardly anonymous than their regular cash transaction. There is no direct evidence that establishes a connection between the two as of now.
It has also been suggested by Europol that the only ways to battle out terrorist finances are either to beat their seekers' online propaganda and recruit operations through closer coordination and information- sharing across law enforcement agencies, or to focus on their ability to carry out cyber-attacks.
The closing marks that the Jihadist networks could be simply experimenting with cryptocurrencies.
A disconnection from terrorism certainly does not translate into a disconnection from online crime in general. Bitcoin dodges terrorist activities only to find itself as the most commonly used currency in cybercrimes, playing a pivot role in the perpetration, commission, and monetization of cybercrime. The infamously spectacular outcome appears despite Bitcoin's market share dropping from 80 percent to less than 35 percent. However, privacy-centric cryptocurrencies like Zcash, Verge, and Monero are likely to gain adoption among cybercriminals.