According to reports, illegal activities in the crypto-market are shrinking. Lilita Infante from the US DEA said that while Bitcoin would still be used for most of the illicit transactions, however the ratio of altcoins being used for this purpose has come down.
Infante explained that almost 90% of crypto-market transactions were illegal. Such illicit transactions have been constantly increasing since 2013. Now, however, the ratio of legal to illegal transactions has seen a changes, with the latter decreasing about 10%.
“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,’’ Infante maintained. “The majority of transactions are used for price speculation.’’
Infante is a DEA Special Agent and also a member of a 10-person Cyber Investigative Task Force. The team’s investigation focuses on the dark web and digital currencies, and it also provides assistance to other teams from the Department of Justice, like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and also the FBI.
According to Infante, characteristics like the decentralised system, anonymity, and no middlemen are some of the attractive reasons why Bitcoin is used by rackets and offenders. Repeated attacks in the crypto-market, like the recent malware attack on the XMR back these findings as well.
Bitcoin is easily the most used currency for such extra-legal transactions, although racketeers also consider other cryptos as well. Coins like EOS and Monero not only provide anonymous transaction facilities like Bitcoin, but they actually do it better. However, liquidity issues are a concern with these coins.
Infante says that her team can also track untraceable coins. Illicit traffickers and money launderers exchange Bitcoin for fiat in P2P and over-the-counter exchanges. A majority of such transactions go through big US exchanges.
Infante explained that a lot of such illicit and unlawful activities can be expected in the future. However, she also stated that the blockchain networks actually provide them with a number of tools to track such people, and that she actually wants to keep using them.