Bitcoin’s dubious reputation as a shadow currency

The black markets are thousands of years older than Bitcoin. Nevertheless, the crypto currency is not shedding its reputation as a currency for illegal activities in the dark net.

A guest contribution by Reiner Schmidt: Today retired, artist and hobby astrologer, the trained banker, old hippie, globetrotter and long-time quality manager would like to take a completely different, unfamiliar look at crypto, blockchain and the new era.

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Like any innovation created on the planet, Bitcoin Storm has drawn critics too. Part of this criticism focuses on the idea that the currency makes it easy for outlaws to buy illegal goods on what is known as the “dark net”. Some people even claim that Bitcoin was originally created to facilitate illegal activities such as drug deals, money laundering, arms trafficking, and even assassinations.

Bitcoin, of course, cannot solve these problems. In fact, such “dark” transactions are still taking place with Bitcoin. But then, as now, these criminal transactions are mainly carried out with US dollars and other fiat currencies, and it would never occur to anyone to claim that currencies were invented for these purposes.

In other words, it is very likely that some people are using BTC for seriously dubious purposes. However, that doesn’t mean that Bitcoin is inherently evil.

Nevertheless, there are websites that offer highly illegal products, such as the “ Silk Road ”, developed in 2010 by Ross Ulbricht. Undoubtedly, drug dealers and other criminals used Bitcoin in their early days to carry out transactions in the „Dark Net“ via encrypted networks. When you visit Silk Road to do some research, it definitely feels dark and scary.

In 2015, Ulbricht was charged with two life sentences , including drug trafficking and money launderingsentenced. However, is this conviction an indictment against Bitcoin or against Ulbricht? The black markets are thousands of years older than Bitcoin. Illegal trade is one of the largest economies in the world and has existed since the dawn of human civilization.

Bitcoin and its bad image

The illegal activity, in a way, proves that Bitcoin, at least at that time, was a really effective way to conduct transactions without anyone looking over their shoulder. It may have been easier to illegally trade Bitcoin for a while, but privacy coins like Monero have long outstripped the largest crypto currency in illegal dark net trading.

Drugs, weapons, counterfeit goods, luxury goods, pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, art, auto parts, etc. are markets valued at at least $ 1 trillion per year. This existed long before the creation of BTC and adds to geopolitical instability around the world. Bitcoin may have initially favored the online black market through obscured transaction paths in parts. If you wanted to put the stigma “illegally” on the currency, you would have to do the same with the US dollar or the euro. It is obvious that this is an absurd conclusion. And so Bitcoin gets a better and better image with increasing adaptation and acceptance.