Is bitcoin safe ?
Do criminals use Bitcoin? Yes, a bit. Any technology that can be used can be abused.
Cash is also used by criminals, a lot.
Bitcoin’s reputation for criminality likely arises from its use on silk road, the dark web marketplace where you could use Bitcoin to buy guns, drugs, or whatever else, took your fancy.
They used it because :
- Bitcoin was hard to trace.
- This has changed though.
- It’s not just traceable.
- It’s trivial to trace these things.
Blockchain analytics firms today are using incredibly sophisticated techniques.
many ways, Bitcoin transactions are now easier to trace than cash.
Bitcoin is pseudonymous which means your wallet address is recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain instead of your actual identity.
Anyone can view all transactions using a blockchain explorer, which is basically a Google for cryptocurrencies. In many cases, identities can be linked to Bitcoin addresses making it a far more transparent system than traditional banking.
According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, Bitcoin provides the ultimate paper trail for law enforcement agencies, tax authorities, and compliance professions. Someone with enough time and dedication will be able to trace your path back.
This traceability also makes Bitcoin theft a less attractive endeavor.
Elliptic found that as of 2019, just $829 million worth of Bitcoin was spent on the dark web in a six year period. This equates to a mere not 0.5% of all Bitcoin transactions.
Compare this to the traditional financial system, money laundered by criminals each year here makes up between 2% and 5% of the entire world’s GDP. That’s $1.6 trillion to $4 trillion a year.
As it matures, the crypto industry is also becoming increasingly regulated. Now guys, at Luno, we’ve always been compliant with Know Your Customer, KYC and Anti-Money Laundering AML practices mitigating the use of our platform to facilitate criminal behavior