Despite What Politicians Say — Terrorists Don’t Use Bitcoin

Do you know who uses bitcoin? Terrorists, neo-Nazis, and pedophiles. Not to mention the bogeyman, cyber criminals, and that creepy old guy at the end of your street. All of them are using bitcoin right now to do god-knows-what, but whatever it is you can bet it’s naughty. How do we know this? Because our government says so, and governments would never lie, right?

One Man’s Bitcoiner is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter

Links between terrorism and bitcoin aren’t new; in fact they’re older than the blockchain itself. In response to the then-outlandish notion that major heads of state might be discussing bitcoin, one Bitcointalk forum user replied, in July 2010: “Those guys still print the Internet and would probably see Bitcoin as a tool of terrorism.”

The first conflation of digital currencies and terrorism actually stems from a 2008 paper in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology in which the author stated that “[terrorists] seeking to avoid detection have turned to other methods of transferring money, such as commodities trades, hawala, and digital currencies”. In defining this latter phrase, the report referenced a paper entitled “The Cyber-Front in the War on Terrorism: Curbing Terrorist Use of the Internet”. It was published in 2005.

That’s right, terrorists allegedly using digital currencies is older than bitcoin itself.

Are Terrorists and Other Undesirables Using Bitcoin?

Despite what aging politicians who “still print the internet” will tell you, terrorists aren’t using bitcoin. Okay, so a fraction are, just as a fraction of terrorists are probably drinking cherry Coke or picking their noses right now. As a group, however, terrorists and other undesirables aren’t using bitcoin to evade the law, fund their operations, and bring down society…

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