Crypto-terror talk is back.
Gone are the days when people snived at Bitcoin and other digital assets as being a tool for money launderers, terrorists and criminals the world over. From being pedalled in the dark lures of the Internet to being embraced by financial giants like the Intercontinental Exchange, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, cryptocurrencies have come a long way.
However, this reputation could be stifled if the purpose of cryptocurrencies moves of controlling one’s finance to allowing devious agents to move money around. As alluded to by the Home Affairs Minister of Australia, Peter Dutton, cryptocurrencies use in terror activities are alive and well.
Speaking to a counter-terrorism conference in Melbourne on November 7, the Minister stated that the anonymous nature of digital currency allows nefarious users to go under the radar, and this is a real problem for the authorities. He stated,
“The anonymity afforded by such technologies enables terrorist financiers to obfuscate their activities.”
With the development of digital currencies, seeping into every channel of mainstream finance, their use in criminal activities only increases. He stated that cryptocurrencies are being implemented in “stored-value cards, online payment systems and crowd-funding platforms,” and this is allowing new “channels,” of finance for terrorists.
Countries must be mindful of both modern and traditional means of terror-financing and be ahead of the game on both fronts, Dutton advised. In this endeavour, he signalled the need for the Australian government to work with both domestic private banking institutions and foreign governments to confront this real threat.
Popular financing channels, which often go unnoticed, like charities and non-profits must also be looked at quite closely, he added.
“In many cases,