A question was recently posed as to whether or not ISIS missed out on bitcoin.
This is indeed a tough question to answer for a number of reasons. ISIS, as many saw back in November, opted to create its own currency with gold, silver and copper coins, and while it’s unclear as to how ISIS plans to mint the currency, the coins are “dedicated to God,” and meant to keep the group away from the “tyrant’s financial system.”
But in light of all these claims, the question has always been there, “Is ISIS using bitcoin?” and according to a cyber-intelligence analyst from Israel, the answer is “yes.” The group has allegedly been using the dark net and bitcoin for the purposes of fundraising and nabbing new recruits.
A newly discovered fundraising website even calls for ISIS support in the United States, which roughly makes us wonder just how many corners of the world the group has managed to infiltrate. How successful the funding campaigns have been is unclear at this time, but there is certainly evidence to suggest that bitcoin has kept the group busy.
Former Under Secretary of the Treasury Department Jimmy Gurule is not skeptical when it comes to claims of ISIS using bitcoin, and says that while the group is mostly self-funded, they would need a dark link to stay anonymous, and they may have found one:
“Bitcoin is currently not regulated, and so I think that it does present a risk to moving money for criminal purposes… And I think potentially the terrorists could have found a chink in the armor, or could have found a gap in our regulatory system that they may be exploiting.”
So regarding the question as to whether ISIS missed out on bitcoin… While we don’t know for sure, there is certainly evidence to suggest that they haven’t, and that’s a scary fact indeed. How future regulators and lawmakers will respond to such allegations is also making digital currency enthusiasts a little queasy.