Bitcoin skeptics often resort to the coin’s risks of being used for malicious purposes, such as money laundering, terrorism supply, drugs and weapons purchase or sale and so on. But bitcoin tends to distract public’s eyes from this issues thanks to its dramatic price gyrations. However, it is time to pay attention to the problem, as some researchers pointed out in a paper, released recently.
A ¼ part of all the BTC users is engaged in unlawful practices. Such a conclusion comes out of a study, conducted by researchers from several institutions worldwide, including the University of Sydney (Australia), the University of Technology Sydney (Australia) and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (Latvia).
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Besides claiming that 25% of bitcoin users are drawn in malicious activities, the researchers also emphasized that a considerable fraction of bitcoin’s value is dependent on such actions.
How Big The Problem Is
According to the group researchers, the involvement of 25% of BTC users into fraudulent activities is not the only concern. Additionally, they calculated that 44% of all transactions were also unlawful, whereas 51% of all BTC investments were illicit since the implementation of this cyber currency. Below, there is the full list of wrongful activities levels, connected with bitcoin:
- 25% of BTC users engaged in illegal activities (24 million users)
- 44% unlawful transactions in total (36 million illicit operations a year)
- $72 billion worth of wrongful sales annually (20% of the dollar value of all operations)
- 51% of all BTC investments a priori were illicit since the creation of BTC
- $8 billion in wrongful BTC investments at the moment of the research
Nevertheless, it is crucial to point out that the study, mentioned above, was conducted concerning the activities of those users, who did not desire their practices to be revealed above all. On the contrary, the other study from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance as well as Elliptic showed quite a different level of illegal activity. The other researchers stated that less than 10% of all transactions, in general, went through unbeknown jurisdictions, whereas 52% of wrongful laundering passed through them.
Finally, the Australian-Latvian research compared BTC’s illegal market to the illicit drug markets in the US and EU. In the first one, by the way, it is worth 100 billion dollars a year, while in Europe the market runs 24 billion euros per year.