The DEA States 10% Criminal Activity Related to All Crypto-Transactions
Supporters of cryptocurrencies have consistently claimed that it was unfair to attribute BTC as a criminal hub for illegal narcotics and money laundering. As per data revealed by the US DEA, these claims may be true. In an interview, a special agent of the drug agency, Lilita Infante, stated that only 10% of activity on the BTC blockchain was attributed to illegal activities. This itself is a massive cut down of criminal activity by around 90 percent since Silk Road was shut down by the government.
The DEA agent has also stated that this by no means indicates that criminals themselves are dropping in the amount that uses BTC for illegal activities. Instead, she states that the number of these illegal transactions has skyrocketed, however, the ratio has dropped heavily and quickly as every day crypto adoption has integrated the tech into the mainstream. Additionally, he says that speculation has taken over malicious activities.
As per a report published earlier in 2018 by the Quebec government, BTC was deemed as the opposite of an illegal market asset due to the fact that only a small number of criminal activity was involved. Rémi Quirion, the chief scientist behind the paper, wrote extensively in the report released that BTC was in no way over the law and was not a center of attraction for illegal transactions and only consists of a minor percentage of illegal funds circulating globally. According to the report, the reason is due to the anonymity behind transactions that many refuse to forsake.
Additionally, agent Infante stated that although transactions related to digital currencies cannot be censored, data provided by a blockchain allows official law authorities the ability to study any block and trace its activity back to the criminal responsible. She adds that blockchain-tech provides many identification methods when tracing criminals or criminal activity back to its source and has expressed a continued interest in utilizing the tech.
She also mentions that digital coins like Monero and Zcash that are focused on user and transaction privacy are still too insignificant in size and liquidity to act as funds for criminal organizations. According to her, the DEA is still equipped with several tracking methods despite not divulging any specific details as to how.