According to federal governments and law enforcement agencies across the globe, bitcoin is a dangerous virtual currency because it has been associated with criminal activities and illicit transactions, such as money laundering, drug deals and perhaps even terrorism financing.
This is why a division within the Department of Defense will be studying the peer-to-peer decentralized virtual currency because it could very well pose a threat to national security in the United States.
The Fenton Report obtained a memo, which outlined the latest initiative from DOD’s Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO). The measure will assist the military’s understanding of bitcoin and its potential threats to national security.
One of the biggest concerns that the government has is the fact that the cryptocurrency is anonymous in nature. The bitcoin transactions are made public on the accounting public ledger blockchain, but the names and identities of the parties involved are never revealed.
Authorities from the CTTSO, which works under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, are not pleased with this.
“The introduction of virtual currency will likely shape threat finance by increasing the opaqueness, transactional velocity, and overall efficiencies of terrorist attacks,” the memo stated.
The CTTSO is concerned that anonymous networks can offer venues to maintain operations associated with drugs, weaponry, nuclear technology and people and to create a successful venture that cannot be tracked, monitored or discovered.
Bitcoin isn’t the only element being study by the CTTSO for terrorist purposes. Android, Motorola, social media and virtual reality are just some of the topics being investigated by the military.
It should be noted that the Treasury Department conducted two different studies and the latest one concluded that there has been no sufficient evidence to suggest that the virtual currency has assisted in terrorism financing. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned earlier this month that regulations were looming and could be implemented soon.
The U.S. government has established deliberations on how to move forward pertaining to the regulatory nature of the virtual currency. There have been both detractors and proponents of bitcoins. Some states have also started to take matters into their own hands by introducing consumer protection legislation, such as New York’s licenses for businesses dealing with bitcoins.
The bitcoin community on Reddit mocked the DOD news and wrote in jest that the CTTSO should also examine the potential terrorist risks in relation to gold, U.S. dollars, shoes, food and birth – one Reddit user even went as far as saying that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were funded with the greenback.
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