Up until now, cybercriminals still hijack cryptocurrencies, and then terrorists use it to raise funds. However, the authorities are quickly apprehending them; if they use crypto, they have no choice but to use Bitcoin.
Criminal groups have tried to obfuscate the traces of the illegitimate funds through the use of rarer cryptocurrencies. Yet, they often end up going back to the largest digital asset by the market cap. And that how the groups getting busted, rendering from magistrate judge Zia Faruqui and US attorney Jessi Brooks, who have prosecuted several high-profile crypto-related cases.
Conflicting to common knowledge, Bitcoin is a very transparent cryptocurrency, and the communications are relatively straightforward to track the blockchain, therefore making the criminal activity tranquil to follow.
With the example of the North Korean Hacking syndicate Lazarus Group, who stole $250M worth of cryptocurrency from an exchange in the year 2018, Faruqui and Brooks said that by converting the funds from obscured cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin, authorities were then able to follow the trail and arrest the criminals.
The experts also stated that the terrorists were becoming more proficient at using social media to raise funds for illegal activities.
Mainly, Al-Qaeda had used the messenger app Telegram to raise Bitcoin for violent reasons. The terrorist group have hidden behind different charity names in Telegram channels in the groups were “not being shy about what they were asking for” Brooks stated,
The Bitcoin addresses used to receive the easily trackable funds, and the assets were finally be seized by the DOJ, she continued.
Faruqui stated that the DOJ is treating Bitcoin addresses “like stolen art” and publicizes addresses used by the criminals, in turn devaluing them and making people less likely to deal with the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges.
However, as long as Bitcoin remains the largest and most reliable cryptocurrency, criminals will continue to deal with it.