According to Fanusie, cryptocurrencies might become a regular/preferred way of transacting in the near future. However, such a scenario also entail that the digital currencies could become an “illicit financing toolkit” for the terrorist. He said:
“CSIF has documented multiple jihadist cryptocurrency fundraising campaigns on social media cryptocurrencies…but the good news is that most terrorists particularly those operating on jihadist battlefields inhabit environments that are not currently conducive to cryptocurrency use.”
To bring the point home, the ex-CIA analyst cited an incident where Al-Sadaqa, a jihadist funding campaign was allegedly raising Bitcoin as funds for fighters in Syria. He noted that this group was using social media channels to invite its users to donate anonymously using Bitcoin.
“The group encouraged followers to purchase Bitcoin vouchers from website that took payment in Euros, the group hosted sites where supporters could use Bitcoin ATMs to buy cryptocurrencies so clearly the campaign organizers were trying to make the Bitcoin process easier for novices.”
Fanusie states that now the groups have diversified from Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies:
“The group’s most significant adaptation was eventually branching out beyond Bitcoin by early 2018, the group posted on Telegram that they were accepting cryptocurrencies like Monero, Verge and Dash.”
What’s alarming is that tokens like Monero are privacy coins, implying that the transactions are almost untraceable. Such digital token enables the user to hide their transactions from the general public, unlike Bitcoin, whose transactions are open and viewable by the general public. Fanusie continued:
“The above case clarifies that some terrorist organizations are looking to add cryptocurrency donations to their funding streams…this means that if public cryptocurrency adoption increases, terrorist groups will probably begin to transact more in digital tokens.”
The Director of Analysis for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, notes that most cryptocurrency transactions occur via cryptocurrency exchanges. He, therefore, urges the financial authorities to involve themselves more with exchanges, in order to keep bad actors and terrorists far away from such platforms.
For the detailed speech, check out the Video link below: