Narcotics And Cryptocurrency: A ‘Dope’ Match?

Cryptocurrency has for long been accused as a gateway for criminals to fund their illicit activities without getting caught.

The anonymity that transacting in cryptocurrencies provides, has been a blessing for those who need to carry out illegal transactions without the possibility of being tracked.

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The narcotics industry is one such industry that it always big and booming. It’s one such product on the market, for which the demand will never go down. So what role does cryptocurrencies play in this sector?

Recently, 9 drug dealers were arrested in South Korea, by the authorities. They were allegedly selling narcotics through an obscure online site, using cryptocurrency. The website apparently existed on the darknet and was created explicitly for the purpose of selling drugs.

Cryptocurrencies offer people the opportunity to conduct cross border transactions at an universal rate. There is no hassle of different valuation of different fiat currencies, based on their country of use.

Since the value of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is universal across the world, it is seamless to conduct transactions and price the narcotics accordingly. The ease of sending and receiving cryptocurrency without being accountable to any centralised authority, is another added advantage of dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Since cryptocurrency was a currency made popular by its value in the DarkNet, it still continues to be the currency of choice for any and all users of the DarkNet. The decentralization and anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions is a boon for all criminals looking to buy or sell items on the darknet.

Not just narcotics, other items like weapons, edibles, and even human trafficking becomes much more convenient with the use of cryptocurrency.

Now the question that arises here is how can we ensure that cryptocurrency does not fuel the narcotics sector?

Well there are ways to trace someone’s digital footprint in terms of their crypto transactions.  Bitcoin is often used on the Darknet with the anonymizing software The Onion Router (Tor) to ensure that it is untraceable, but with sufficient knowledge and resources, a person’s activities can be monitored.

Another option is to regulate cryptocurrencies in a better manner and thereby deter such criminal activities. Many countries like Malaysia, Singapore are looking to roll out strict cryptocurrency regulations to monitor crypto activity in the country and ensure the currency is not being misused.