Digital currencies are used in various transactions, from peer to peer transaction to trade and online purchases. Now, bitcoins undergo US military probe as they are trying to study and examine as to whether bitcoins are used in terrorism activities.
The policy counsel of the Bitcoin Foundation met the officials from the United States Special Operations Command to discuss the role of bitcoins or cryptocurrencies in illicit activities. This discussion took place after the United States warplanes started its missions in Syria to hunt and topple down the Islamic terror network, ISIS. With the said terrorism network getting millions of funds from doing illegal activities like kidnapping, illicit oil sales, etc. , the aim of the US government and its allies is to prevent the network from getting funds. In inviting experts and proponents of bitcoins, the military get to understand how their enemies can misuse and abuse the bitcoin platform to acquire funds which can then be used in their terrorist related activities.
Bitcoins for Terrorism Funding
There have been intelligence reports that ISIS utilizes the anonymous features of virtual currency to acquire funding. With the US military probing into bitcoins and how they can possible be used for terrorism, the invitation simple called as the “ Virtual Currency Workshop” was held at the MacDill Air Force in Tampa, Florida.
Bitcoins might appeal to terrorist funders considering that there are no set of regulations and that monitoring is minimal. To avoid supervisions in channeling funds via the traditional payment systems, bitcoins can be considered as alternatives as governments have become more cautious and active when it comes to suspicious financial transactions after the 9-11 attack. In using bitcoin, ISIS and even other organizations could work their way through legal barriers in order to generate funds. With bitcoin not actively regulated and monitored, terrorism funding is possible. Not only do they get to avoid government taxes, they can also avoid any legal threat. In a report from the Bitcoin Magazine, virtual currency has its share of downsides and can impose threat especially since the system can be used to increase the efficiency of terrorist attacks. The anonymity feature of using bitcoin is one of the concerns. Although bitcoin transactions are public, the people involved in the transactions are anonymous. The recent high-profile cases only showed the vulnerability of the bitcoin platform.
The Virtual Currency Workshop
The event was organized by the Business Executives for the National Security facilitating connections between the US military and business leaders. Among them is a group composed of corporate elites like David Koch and Jeff Bezos.
During the event, many issues and topics were discussed concerning virtual currency. And in one of the discussions, a question was asked to the officers as to whether the US military can trace bitcoin. According to the defense official, it is a difficult question but they are working to find ways to monitor bitcoin activities and monitor any illicit activities that can be used for terrorism.