Bitcoin’s capability of providing an unregulated system of peer-to-peer payment system which over goes any intermediate party with anonymity has been a subject of great controversy. The anonymity that this cryptocurrency’s system provides has become very popular for all kind of utilities in the world and has been more so for those conducting trade of illicit goods. Dealers on the Dark Web have taken the most advantage of the service cryptocurrencies provide. Most recently, six men in Holland have been accused of laundering hundreds of thousands of Euros through the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. They have made all that money by using Bitcoin to sell drugs.
These men are facing potential sentences of up to 36 months for crimes that they have committed including money laundering and drug dealing. Bitcoin is not so much a safe haven for criminals ever since there has been a crack down on Bitcoin related crimes all over the world but it still has not stopped criminals from trying to use Bitcoin to make illegal and anonymous monetary transactions.
The suspects had allegedly met up with some Bitcoin traders which provided public access to WiFi and swapped their illegally obtained online currency for hard cash from traders. The prosecutors said that the Bitcoin traders do not ask for proper documentation or proof of where they obtained the Bitcoins from unlike how it is done in cryptocurrency exchanges.
The six alleged criminals are adamantly denying all the charges and insisted that they managed to obtain their hoard of Bitcoins legally.
“My client is accused of having sold more than 460,000 Euros in Bitcoin which he supposedly earned through drug trafficking” lawyer Marielle van Essen told the judges. She said that they completely disagree with the charges. Her client, one of the accused, Mr. Bischop said that he earned all the Bitcoin through legal means saying that he had a good job, a very good salary and he had no rent to pay. That is why he was able to accumulate almost half a million Euros worth of Bitcoin.
The question — if the Bitcoin did not come through legal means, where did it come from? – remains. The defendants and their lawyers have as of yet been unable to provide any sort of legitimate reason as to how the six accused managed to accumulate such a large amount of Bitcoins. The fact that Bitcoin has no paper trail to speak of, makes it a lot more difficult for even the prosecutors to pin it on them.
It is obvious that these gentlemen have not been able to produce evidence claiming their innocence so even if the source of all their monetary gains in the digital currency cannot be ascertained, the fact that an astronomical amount of money is being laundered, is a big cause of concern.
All crimes pertaining to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the more infamous Darkcoin will see a rise as the cryptocurrency world sees a rise itself. The game is changing and authorities need to start upping their game if they want to put an end to this new wave of crypto-criminals.