Bitcoin Used in a Crime, Yada Yada Yada, Bitcoin Bad

Dear reader,

A serious crime has been committed, and cryptocurrency was involved. Yada yada yada, bitcoin bad.

Sincerely,

Someone Really Smart

  • Fraudulent activity involving plastic cards reached $27b in 2018, doubling what they were just five years earlier. The numbers have gone up since.
  • There is a specific type of wire fraud that uses scam emails. According to the FBI, over $25b was stolen in a 3 year span using this method alone.
  • Hackers once used SWIFT messaging to steal over $100m from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Most of the money was never recovered, despite being sent through the regulated banking system.
  • Back when people wrote checks, check fraud was fairly common. There’s a great movie starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio about this. (I highly recommend it!)
  • The Colonial Pipeline hack involved a ransom payment of $5m. The Bitcoin blockchain has been settling over $10b per day in the month of May. The ransom payment represented .05% of one day’s volume.
  • There is over 2 trillion dollars worth of physical bills in circulation. Harvard Professor Ken Rogoff — whose analysis has been applauded by the likes of Ben Bernanke — estimates that a third of that cash is involved in drug deals or tax evasion.
  • That’s over $600b in illicit activity, or the annual GDP of Switzerland.
  • The Blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis estimates that the percentage of Bitcoin that was involved in illicit activity in 2020 was also one third — but one third of one percent.
  • That’s only $10b
  • Global financial institutions paid more than $10b in money laundering related fines in 2020 alone.
  • The U.N. estimates that $1.6 trillion per year is involved in money laundering.
  • That’s more than double the total value of all Bitcoins in existence.

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