US defense expert says crypto not best choice for terrorists

One of the most pervasive myths around cryptocurrency since before it rose to wider popularity last year is that it could be used to fund terrorist activities. Now, however, US defense expert Yaya Fanusie has confirmed that it is an inefficient form of currency for such activity.

“Cold hard cash is still king,” the director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance told Congress.

Despite crypto’s reputation for offering anonymity for users, reports Forbes, Fanusie believes that cash is still the best because of activity in areas that do not offer the technology infrastructure needed to use crypto effectively.

This doesn’t mean that terrorist organisations aren’t using virtual currencies, however, and Fanusie urged US government agencies to learn how to analyse crytocurrency transactions in order to prevent potential fundraising campaigns.

“By preparing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the US can limit the ability to turn digital currency markets into a sanctuary for illicit finance,” he added.

It was recently revealed that as much as £4 billion of Bitcoin and other crypto is currently being laundered by criminal organisations, who are converting the currency into fiat after cashing out.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, said: “It’s growing quite quickly and we’re quite concerned. They’re not banks and governed by a central authority so the police cannot monitor those transactions.

“They have to take a responsible action and collaborate with us when we are investigating very large-scale scrime. I think they also have to develop a better sense of responsiblity around how they’re running virtual currency.”