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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Research Says Claims of Terrorism Financed With Bitcoin Are Exaggerated

Research Says Claims of Terrorism Financed With Bitcoin Are Exaggerated

A new report from a British defense and security think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), reveals that reports of terrorism financed through Bitcoin are greatly exaggerated.

‘Treating Cryptocurrencies as an Exceptional Threat is a Misleading Impression’

Research Report Says Financing Terrorism With Bitcoin Is ExaggeratedRUSI consultant David Carlisle said that there is a lot of attention given to the possibility of bitcoin being used as a terrorist financing tool but “overreaction could stifle an important new financial technology”. He noted that there are very few instances where cryptocurrencies have been used for terrorism. However, the prospect of utilizing virtual currencies for terrorist activity has produced a significant response from many governments. Believing the response to be sensationalized, he states that: "Treating cryptocurrencies as an exceptional threat creates the misleading impression that more conventional financial products are not already equally, or more, vulnerable to terrorist exploitation."

The RUSI contributor says that it is not yet clear whether cryptocurrencies will be used in terrorist financing. At the moment, Carlisle explains that terrorists already have a vast array of existing “financing streams, which show little sign of drying up”. Additionally, another RUSI report reveals that lone actors and small cell terrorists are using financial services such as student loans, payday loans, welfare benefits, and cash.

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