Europol: Bitcoin does not finance terrorists

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Accusations that Bitcoin is being used to fund terrorism have just been invalidated by  a January 2016 Europol report.

Let's remember: after the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris in January and November 2015, many voices were raised against Bitcoin, accusing it of participating in the financing of terrorism and even of representing a major risk to public security.

At the same time, the G7 Finance Ministers (France, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Italy and the United States) and the EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers  A la même période, les ministres des Finances du G7 (Allemagne, France, États-Unis, Canada, Grande-Bretagne, Japon, et Italie), ainsi que les ministres de l’Intérieur et de la Justice de l’Union européenne discussed measures to strengthen the control of terrorist financing through "virtual currencies" such as Bitcoin.

Members of the Bitcoin Community objected to these allegations, asking for specific examples (which they did not get) and noting that banknotes and coins were far more anonymous than Bitcoin. They also complained that the accusations ignored the technicalities of Bitcoin and its technology, the blockchain, which publicly records all transactions.

In its report dated 18 January 2016, the European Police Office provides answers to the requests of EU Member States on terrorist financing. It notes that despite claims by third parties that anonymous currencies such as Bitcoin are used by terrorists to finance their activities, this claim has not been substantiated by the police.

The report by anti-terrorism experts from EU member states and Europol also states that terrorist travel is likely to be financed by the travellers themselves through legal means and criminal activities, such as fraud.

The turnaround by this body, which until now has not been particularly supportive of Bitcoin, is an important step.

The issue of Bitcoin's involvement in terrorist activities is all the more sensitive as the European Commission is currently considering whether or not to regulate virtual currencies as part of a response to the Paris terrorist attacks. At the same time, the European Parliament has just organised a public hearing on "the advantages and disadvantages of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin" in order to see what regulatory response to Bitcoin should be given., which has repeatedly relayed responses to accusations against Bitcoin, stated in  a post on 19 January 2015, that terrorists do not use Bitcoin: "Because it's far too risky, because with Bitcoin everything is transparent, and because dedicated sleuths can trace these weapons back to the large public ledger of transactions and the latest computer techniques developed by the world's top intelligence services and honed in the successful hunts for drug dealers of recent years."

For example, analysis of the blockchain led to the arrest of a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent and a US Secret Service agent in the US for embezzling bitcoins from a Silk Road site shut down by the FBI.

Today, the bitcoin industry has evolved significantly and there are many ways to gain insight into bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. Among the most interesting are the French search engine Goochain, which allows you to find transactions not only by address but also by date or amount, and block explorers such as BlockTrail or It is even possible to go back to the very first bock made by Satoshi Nakamono (commonly called the "Genesis block") by entering the number "0" in the search tab!


Sources :
– : Changes in modus operandi of Islamic State terrorist attacks (PDF)

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The picture, Europol Headquaters at the Eisenhowerlaan in The Hague by OSeveno is authorised for use under CC BY-SA 4.0