Department of Defense Perceives Bitcoin as a Potential Terrorist Threat
Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) is a division of Department of Justice that is currently concerned about the anonymous nature of transactions carried through Bitcoin. Bitcoin on the other hand, is a renowned digital currency system realized by millions of users around the world to transfer funds virtually.
Bitcoin along with other digital products is on the list of CTTSO. The authority has formulated this list for investigating the possible threats posed by online elements to the national security. The reason why Bitcoin is facing this is the vague transaction system; it is reckless and efficient enough to financially support terrorist attacks. Though the transactions on Bitcoin are public, it is hard to identify the parties who made these transactions.
The scrutiny started due to some recent unfavorable cases like that of Silk Road. Last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified and closed down Silk Road – a digital black market for trading drugs, guns and even professional slayers. The mastermind behind this project was arrested and charged with money and narcotics trafficking. The man admitted the use of Bitcoin for payments.
The instance resulted in the detention of Charlie Shrem, the Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation in January this year. Subsequently, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin were reported to be stolen by one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox (Tokyo). The exchange filed a bankruptcy protection, but the court rejected their application.
Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office has prepared a list of research topics to further understand the state-of-the-art technologies that may pose threats to national security. The list includes significant topics like Motorola, social media, Android and virtual reality.
Though the law enforcement agencies have not yet been able to acquire much evidence against Bitcoin for terrorism financing, it is much clear that the vulnerabilities of Bitcoin are known by potential terrorists.