Critics have always warned anyone willing to listen that cryptocurrency could be used for illegal activities. Thanks to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data, the public now has an idea just how much of Bitcoin’s transactions are connected to criminal activity. Surprisingly, it does not appear to be as big as what most people might expect. The government agency reports that only 10% of Bitcoin transactions are linked to illegal activities.
Illegal Activities Only 10% of Bitcoin Transactions
Five years ago, the situation was rather bleak. At that time, 90% of Bitcoin transactions were associated with criminal activities, according to a report by Bloomberg. This was revealed by Lilita Infante at the US Drug Enforcement Administration based on her analysis of blockchain data.
Percentage-wise, the situation appears to have vastly improved today. According to Infante’s analysis, only 10% of Bitcoin transactions can be linked to illegal activities.
Speculators Overtake Criminals
But that drastic reduction in crime-related Bitcoin transactions, as a percentage, does not mean that criminals have suddenly decided to detach themselves from cryptocurrencies. On the contrary, Infante revealed that the volume of crime-related Bitcoin transactions rose tremendously during the five-year period.
During her interview with Bloomberg, DEA’s Infante revealed:
“The volume has grown tremendously, the amount of transactions and the dollar value has grown tremendously over the years in criminal activity, but the ratio has decreased. The majority of transactions are used for price speculation.’’
It’s just that no matter how explosive the growth in crime-related crypto transactions might have been, it just can’t compare with the skyrocketing volume of speculative crypto transactions. The industry grew at breakneck speed last year, which culminated in the establishment of all-time high prices for most cryptocurrencies on the market in December 2017, before January’s market correction.
The industry’s 2017 bull run created numerous newly minted millionaires — living proof that there is money to be made in the cryptos. While current prices are still way below their December all-time highs, many are still hoping to replicate even a fraction of the successes of the top-performing crypto investors last year.