There are a lot of different ways bitcoin can be used to facilitate illegal activities. One of which is using it as the currency of a darknet market, like the infamous Silk Road. While there has been a crackdown on darknet markets, it hasn’t had any real impact. To see this in action, you can go to the darknet markets subreddit where you’ll find a thriving community that almost 100k people have subscribed to.
On the the aforementioned subreddit, you will find
everything you’d expect from a normal subreddit like healthy and constructive discussion. Bailey Jay, paranoia-fueled rants (those who make these are often called within the community a “bartard” ), vendor reviews and complaints, market announcements which may or may not end in an exit scam, FUD, relevant news and PSAs, and so on.
With darknet markets increasingly growing in popularity, it is safe to say that the vendors on these markets are raking in a considerable amount of bitcoin. To cash out securely, they can launder their bitcoin which they will eventually convert into fiat.
It’s quite easy to launder bitcoin, especially with services like Grams’ Helix or Sigaint’s Payshield. Laundering your bitcoin is paramount for your security because despite what you may been told, bitcoin is not anonymous and is instead pseudonymous.
Laundering money using bitcoin is attractive: low fees, instantaneous transactions, and virtually anonymous when done correctly. Due to this, bitcoin is a thorn in the sides of law enforcement.
Amongst the alternatives to laundering using Helix and Payshield, there is one that is booming in business for this exact purpose.
Bitcoin casinos essentially “clean” coins and you don’t even need to put in much effort. You can deposit “dirty” coins, play for a bit, withdraw your coins from the casinos, and voila! You’ve received bitcoins that have been transferred several times.
Now you can run off to a bitcoin exchange, convert your shiny new bitcoins to cold hard cash, and pray to your god at night that you didn’t screw up somewhere.
A lot of money flows through the online gambling industry. In 2014, it was expected to top $39 billion USD. With a large online userbase, and so much money flowing, and the possibility for dubious activities to take place, it’s no wonder many large countries like Russia, China, and the United States have implemented strict policies to keep the industry in check.
Unsurprisingly, online bitcoin casinos are surging in popularity and because of bitcoin’s nature, online gambling is untamed, alive, and kicking worldwide.
With the rising prevalence of laundering using bitcoin casinos, law enforcement is closely paying attention. Not only that, the US government has an interest in bitcoin payment processors as well. In 2013, the Department Of Financial Services in New York issued subpoenas to several companies including Coinbase, BitPay, and BitInstant; asking how they operate, presumably to ensure they had anti-money-laundering policies in place. To stay on the legal side of things, Coinbase actively suspends accounts that transfer bitcoin from gambling sites.
In the UK, bitcoin casino operators were warned to get licensed or face penalties by the UK Gambling Commission in its efforts to regulate online gambling in light of the US taking down bitcoin gambling sites.
Governments and law enforcement aren’t alone in their efforts to crackdown on bitcoin. Private companies, some of which work with law enforcement, have been popping up that specialize in fingerprinting and revealing the identities behind bitcoins. One of these companies, Chainalysis, recently partnered with Europol to “fight cybercrime”.
With all of this said, it’s clear that laundering bitcoin works and using bitcoin casinos to do that is only one of the many ways to launder. If you do it correctly, there isn’t much anyone do about it. It will always be a game of cat and mouse.
“Which bitcoin casino should I use?”, one may ask. Well, you can head on over to Bitcoin Casino Reviews and find out which one suits you best.