Bitcoin Transactions Associated With Illegal Activities

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Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank.

Cryptocurrencies are among the largest unregulated markets in the world. We find that approximately one-quarter of bitcoin users and one-half of bitcoin transactions are associated with illegal activity. Around $72 billion of illegal activity per year involves bitcoin, which is close to the scale of the US and European markets for illegal drugs.

The illegal share of bitcoin activity declines with a mainstream interest in bitcoin and with the emergence of more opaque cryptocurrencies. The techniques developed in this paper have applications in cryptocurrency surveillance. Our findings suggest that cryptocurrencies are transforming the way black markets operate by enabling “black e-commerce.

Close to half of all the Bitcoin transactions are associated with illegal activities and a quarter of all Bitcoin owners are involved in such activities, a research paper published by the students of the three different business schools have found.

Sex, Drugs, and Bitcoin: How Much Illegal Activity Is Financed Through Cryptocurrencies?

The research paper titled Sex, drugs, and Bitcoin: How much illegal activity is financed through cryptocurrencies?published in January this year, estimates that 44 percent of all Bitcoin transactions, 25 percent of all users, 20 percent of the total dollar value of transactions and 51 percent of Bitcoin holdings are associated with illegal activities.