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Why do criminals and terror groups prefer Bitcoin over privacy coins?

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Despite Bitcoin’s young age, its adoption has been far and wide, across all ages. However, when you say far and wide that also encompasses its illicit use. In 2019, it was revealed that Hamas, the militant Palestinian group had fashioned a campaign to raise money using Bitcoin.

There have been numerous cases where a terror group had been noted to use cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin [BTC] to fund its activities. However, the question still remains, why Bitcoin?

Philip Gradwell, the Chief Economist at Chainalysis noted that the reason behind this was Bitcoin’s liquidity. In an exclusive interview with AMBCrypto, Gradwell said that:

“…I would say that the majority of cryptocurrency activity and also, therefore, illicit activity is actually on the non-private, the bigger cryptocurrencies, which is primarily Bitcoin.”

He added that the crypto criminals do not want to go through the hassle of understanding to set up a privacy coin wallet like Monero. Even though the criminals might find BTC difficult, they did not want to put the effort to understand other coins.

He added:

“… then on the criminal side, they also want the most liquid assets. It’s harder to set up a Monero than it is to Bitcoin. And so you can have the type of funds in Bitcoin.”

Chainalysis that tracks about 40 cryptocurrencies, noted that the privacy coins were difficult to track and there were some blind spots with respect to this. Despite the popular use of Bitcoin, Gradwell stated that the use of crypto for terror financing has been very small.

“So it’s very small. I should say like, it’s one of these things that is hard for us to get a complete picture of, but what we are aware of is in the [range of] I want to say sort of tens of thousands of dollars.”


Namrata is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto covering the US and Indian market. A graduate in Mass communication, while majoring in Journalism, she writes mainly about regulations and its impact with a focus on technological advancements in the crypto space.
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