U.S. Department of Defense Investigates Link between Bitcoin and Terrorism Financing

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U.S. Department of Defense Investigates Link between Bitcoin and Terrorism FinancingThe U.S. Department of Defense is currently probing whether virtual currency bitcoin can be a potential terrorist threat.

The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office is leading a study that aims at helping the Pentagon understand how bitcoin and other digital currencies and modern technologies can pose a security risk to the country, reported the International Business Times.

The IBTimes released a memo showing one of the current CTTSO project as stating, “The introduction of virtual currency will likely shape threat finance by increasing the opaqueness, transactional velocity, and overall efficiencies of terrorist attacks”.

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The biggest concern about bitcoin is that transactions conducted using the currency offer anonymity. Though the transactions are open for everyone to see, the identity of the individuals who are involved is protected.

IBTimes reported that bitcoins facilitate illegal transactions with “the speed of the internet but with the secrecy of a cash deal”. Recent cases have pointed how bitcoin can be used to facilitate nefarious activities such as the Silk Road black market website that was closed by the FBI in October. The founder of Silk Road, which only allowed transactions using bitcoin, was charged with money laundering and drug trafficking.

While an investigation by the Treasury Department didn’t find any evidence indicating that bitcoin may be used as a source of terrorism financing, the anonymity offered by the currency still gives law enforcers sleepless nights.

CTTSO said that the anonymity offered provides an avenue to successfully facilitate weapons, drugs, nuclear tech and people trafficking. Other list of topics that CTTSO is exploring whether they can be used to facilitate terrorism includes social media, Motorola, virtual reality and Android. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Deepak Tiwari at deepak@forexminute.com