Elliptic, a UK based firm which specialises in blockchain analysis tools for law enforcement has released a study today which found that less than 1% of Bitcoin transactions to exchanges are illicit. This contradicts just about every other study and statement prior to this.
According to our study, the total percentage of identified “dirty bitcoins” going into conversion services was relatively small. Only 0.61 percent of the money entering conversion services during the four years analyzed were verifiably from illicit sources, with the highest proportion (1.07 percent) seen in 2013.
The report which is free to download from Elliptic’s website is worth a read, though clearly Bitcoin is used for Criminal activity as is just about any currency past, present and future – but the scale of illicit activity is relatively small in comparison to other currencies, specifically the dollar.
With reports like this one ‘Study: 44% of Bitcoin transactions are for illegal activities’ constantly flooding the mainstream press its no wonder most outside the Bitcoin community assume Bitcoin is indeed mostly used by criminals, whereas those of us within the community are wondering where all these criminals are, because we don’t see any, well not since those scammers over at Bitconnect went AWOL.
The report concluded with various recommendations for Governments about where to go from here with Bitcoin and emerging cryptocurrencies:
- Financial authorities in all jurisdictions must increase AML enforcement of mixers and online gambling
- European virtual currency exchanges must improve AML practices
- Law enforcement should not only target darknet websites, it should expose their vulnerabilities
- Jurisdictions with established virtual currency AML regulations should share lessons learned with emerging
- The U.S. Congress should mandate a National Commission for Digital Currency Preparedness and help
develop a national blockchain technology innovation strategy