Recent findings from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration show that the ratio of legal to illegal Bitcoin (BTC) activity has flipped so that now only 10% of all transactions on the blockchain are related to criminal activity.
In an interview with Bloomberg, DEA official Lilita Infante explained that she initially began the analysis of blockchain data five years ago, where she found that 90% of transactions involved criminal activity. This ultimately worked to turn public opinion against the entire industry and has contributed to the central argument against Bitcoin as an alternate form of value storage and transfer.
Infante, who is currently a member of a ten-person Cyber Investigative Task Force, revealed that the majority of Bitcoin transactions are now used for price speculation. While 10% of all transactions being criminal is still a notable number, Infante states that the nefarious usage is “fine with her” due to the fact that the bitcoin ledger will supply her team with the information needed to identify the individuals who commit crimes.
What is commonly referred to as the “dark web” is still reportedly home to the most egregious usage of cryptocurrency. Criminal organizations, including drug cartels, utilize cryptocurrencies across their operations due to the fact that it’s quick, cheap and incorrectly perceived as more anonymous or secure than going through a traditional banking system.
There is no indication at this time what percentage of illicit activity has simply moved onto the blockchains of privacy coins, which work to mask wallets and transactions data. This will likely be a major focus for regulatory and law enforcement agencies moving forward.
Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.