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Fiat outpaces Bitcoin in money laundering 800 to 1

Recent research published by Messari revealed that bitcoin (BTC) is not at all the financial threat that some critics claim. Messari said that they performed the research in response to recent remarks by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Data from Chainalysis and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime revealed that traditional fiat money is used 800 times more than bitcoin to launder money on the darknet. The results don’t take into account estimates of money laundering through conventional markets.

For each dollar launder in BTC, $800 is laundered in cash | Source: Messari Mnuchin vs the UN: Who is right about Bitcoin?

The UN statistics contrast sharply with the statements of Steven Mnuchin, who overestimated the problem to the point of describing cryptocurrencies as a “national security issue.”

“Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking. Many players have attempted to use cryptocurrencies to fund their malignant behavior. This is indeed a national security issue.”

If cryptocurrencies are really a problem, it is not for the reasons given by Mnuchin. The results of Messari’s research reaffirm what Europol had already concluded in a report titled “Why Is Cash Still King?

In this report, Europol explains that practically all criminals use traditional money in their operations and that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, are not very popular among criminals:

“Although not all use of cash is criminal, all criminals use cash at some stage in the money laundering process … While the world is looking with concern at the possible misuse of virtual currencies by criminals, this report may seem somewhat unusual in that it is not highlighting a new phenomenon or an emerging risk…money laundering schemes detected by law enforcement are still largely characterized by tra...
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