Will Terrorism Soon Invade the World of Bitcoins?

The dawning of a new era of virtual currencies has its downsides. And one of the most fearful of it is its use as a potential terrorist threat.


New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/06/2014 -- While Android, Motorola, the social media, and virtual reality are all being warned by the Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO), bitcoin is also being listed as an area of concern posing threats to national security.

“The introduction of virtual currency will likely shape threat finance by increasing the opaqueness, transactional velocity, and overall efficiency of terrorist attacks,” according to the Advance Planning Briefing for Industry as released by CTTSO on January 2014.

CTTSO’s mission is to identify and analyze the capacities of counter-terrorism and explore irregular combat and developing threats. Their main concern involving bitcoin is the ambiguity built into its architecture as the “miners” involved in bitcoin trading are kept unidenfied. Internet’s ability to transact faster coupled with the privacy in bitcoin transactions are factors that are pinpointed to cause unlawful transactions.

There had been a number of prestigious cases putting bitcoins in hot water. To name a few are the shutting down of the Silk Road by the FBI, an online black market accepting bitcoin payments which served as an avenue for its users and even professional assassins to transact guns and drugs. Money laundering charges of Charlie Shrem (Bitcoin Foundations’ Chairman and BitInstant Head) involved bitcoins as well. And just recently, Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange , filed bankruptcy due to the $425 million worth of loss due to hacking.

Although the Treasury Department has not found any evidence yet on the use of an online currency like bitcoin to fund terrorism, there is still a potential for it to be used for terrorist attacks.

Part of the CTTSO’s plans it to design and develop a modular web-based training package for explosive detection technologies. This training aims to analyze the different virtual environments and devices such as bitcoins and know the science behind them as potential avenues for terrorism, and eventually develop an explosive trace detection technology which includes the device set-up, threats, maintenance, and troubleshooting strategies and solutions. One of CTTSO’s main goals is to create innovative solutions in enhancing new ideas for underpinning the understanding on the role of virtual currencies as a means to finance threats against the United States.

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