Surprisingly, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have not been used to fund any of the recent terrorist operations in Europe. This is according to a recent Europol report which seems to paint a clear picture of the contribution of virtual currencies to the cyber-crime statistics.
The comprehensive report of 72-pages titled; “Internet Organized Threat Assessment 2018,” had an extensive analysis on the various forms of online crimes, ranging from ransomware attacks to child pornography to other advanced online crimes. At exactly page 18, Bitcoin was referred to, and attempts were made to either affirm or negate allegations of several illegal activities taking place in the cyberspace including terrorism.
Traditional Banking Funds Terrorism, not Bitcoin
Prior to this time, several terrorist groups were appealing to sentiment and making public calls for Bitcoin donations, including Akhbar al- Muslimin, Dawaalhaq Islamic News Agency, Isdarat. However, they only solicited cryptocurrency funds to meet the financial demand of their online facilities and also to purchase hosting serves. Despite this fact, there is a crypto-funded English-language social media campaign popularly known as Sadaqah which reportedly targets Muslims in the west to recruit them as fighters for the current war going on in Syria.
In the past, a handful of sympathizing terrorist groups called for Bitcoin donations, including Akhbar al- Muslimin, Dawaalhaq Islamic News Agency, Isdarat. They solicited crypto funds only to finance their online infrastructure and to purchase hosting servers. Nevertheless, one crypto-funded, English-language social media campaign known as Sadaqah reportedly targeted Muslims in the west to recruit them as fighters for the ongoing war in Syria. The report stated that;
“Yet despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies. The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions – their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services.”
Europol revealed that conventional banking service is used in the funding of terrorism and not Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency. However, terrorist organizations might possess some crypto assets or experiment with it; it is still a contradiction to the erroneous belief that cryptocurrency is almost the official currency of terrorists.
Cryptocurrency Rampant in Cybercrime Not Terrorism
Though this report seems to exonerate cryptocurrency from the terrorism allegations, the allegations based on cyber-crime still stays strong, the notorious notion which caused the fall of Bitcoin market shares from 80 percent to less than 35 percent.