The US authorities has singled out cryptocurrencies together with Bitcoin as a funding mechanism for the continuing pattern for smuggling the drug fentanyl.

FinCEN Advisory Mentions Cryptocurrencies

In an advisory issued on August 21, the Monetary Crimes Enforcement Community (FinCEN) highlighted the usage of “convertible virtual currency” (“CVC”) in facilitating the black market.

In response to the group, the US is “in the midst of an unparalleled epidemic of addiction and death” from fentanyl, an opioid utilized in ache prevention and anaesthesia. 

Particularly, it claims, funds happen utilizing Bitcoin 00, Bitcoin Money 00, Ethereum 00 and Monero 00.

Additionally named have been purchases “using money services businesses…, bank transfers or online payment processors,” each inside the US and overseas.

The advisory additional referenced “other, more general money laundering mechanisms” with out naming particular examples.

The imprecise language of the advisory likewise gave no trace of the amount of funds concerned for both cryptocurrency or different financing strategies.

Nonetheless, mainstream media titles seized on the warning as proof that the Trump administration through FinCEN was seeking to crack down on cryptocurrency as soon as once more. 

As Bitcoinist reported, Trump himself had delivered terse feedback on Bitcoin in July, claiming all cryptocurrencies have been “based on thin air.” The feedback had solely a short lived affect on markets. 

Bitcoin A Pal To Regulation Enforcement

FinCEN in the meantime famous crypto’s use in darknet markets to obtain fentanyl, particularly through AlphaBay. 

“The Darknet is commonly used for a number of illicit activities, including fentanyl trafficking,” it reads. 

In July 2017, the U.S. Division of Justice seized AlphaBay servers and property; AlphaBay was the most important prison Darknet market on the Web on the time. 44 AlphaBay required its customers to transact in CVC (together with bitcoin, monero, and ethereum) to obfuscate transactions and associated events.

Past fentanyl, the function of crypto worldwide in illicit actions stays a subject of fixed debate. Regardless of varied warnings from governments, unbiased research routinely discover that cash and different fiat-based choices stay criminals’ medium of selection for transacting. 

Bitcoin’s traceability makes it suboptimal as an nameless fee technique, with even US authorities saying it will in reality be useful to them if its use continued. 

Lilia Infante, an operations lead on the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), made the feedback throughout an interview final yr. 

“The blockchain actually gives us a lot of tools to be able to identify people. I actually want them to keep using [cryptocurrencies],” she mentioned.

What do you consider cryptocurrency’s function in fentanyl trafficking? Tell us within the feedback beneath!

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