Since the inception of bitcoin, the anonymity provided by it has been cherished and applauded by many. But in addition to that, the signature quality of bitcoin has been misused as well. While the use of bitcoin over darknet is very manifesting, it was recently revealed that bitcoin’s use in crime was more than XRP, Ripple’s native cryptocurrency.
Revealed by Elliptic, while XRP of about $400 worth that represented about 0.2% of total transactions was used in various criminal activities, bitcoin of over $829 million worth representing 0.5 of the network’s transactions has been used for illegal means. This clearly shows that bitcoin’s illegal use exceeds the use of XRP by more than two folds. In this regard, the chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic, Tom Robinson said:
Regardless of the amount, it just demonstrates that there is illicit activity going on in this coin. Therefore, if you are a business handling some of these transactions then you need to be checking for it because you don’t want to be the organization that’s being used to launder those proceeds.
As cryptocurrencies aren’t easy to track especially if the user is utilizing multiple wallet addresses, they are well-suited for the bad actors to successfully carry their unethical aims. Due to lack of transparency, adversaries of cryptos often criticize them and hold them responsible for their use in money laundering and ponzi schemes.
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is popular on the darknet for quite a while. On the other hand, XRP that is the 3rd largest cryptocurrency by market cap has also become popular on the darknet. As darknet leads a passage to drugs and many other illegal activities, cryptos facilitating the access of people is damaging the overall repute of cryptos.
However, blaming only cryptos for money laundering and other illicit activities is not justified either because before bitcoin was introduced, people used fiat currency and financial institutes to fulfill their unethical missions. Bitcoin and XRP are different in many aspects. While the former was created to become the medium of exchange, the latter is Ripple’s native crypto aimed to ease a network of banks and financial intermediaries. Let’s see how close both cryptos get to their goals.