Last July 25, 2018, the Chilean banking system was hacked, the financial information of 14,000 clients being leaked. Hackers known as ShadowBrokers published credit card data and later offered to sell all the information they had including revealing how they did the hack and in return, they asked for Bitcoin.
According to the crypto news site, Criptonoticias, “In fact, the group of cyber attackers threatened the Bank of Chile on July 11. According to the ShadowBrokers tweet, "the Chilean government is the target," but the Bank of Chile "was going to pay." The threat demanded a release request from four alleged members of his organization”. It's a shame that cryptocurrency came up in this massive hack to the Chilean banking system, which exposes how vulnerable they are and once again bringing drama between crypto and banks.
Bitcoin has had a hard time being linked to criminal activity among other allegations. Although I do believe it has come a long way from the deep web where crypto was used as a mean of payment within the deep web purchasing all sorts of products including illegal ones. Now Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency´s are used out in the open to invest, trade or buy goods and services. Unfortunately, its still being linked to events like these.
According to The Guardian,“Using the currency is also increasingly easy to do, and that also applies to cyber criminals seeking to launch ransomware attacks. "If you have the skills to get an iTunes account you can probably download a ransomware toolkit, an automated bit of software, and start distributing it," says David Prince, a cybersecurity specialist and a director at Baringa Partners, a London-based tech consultancy. “You can then go on the darknet and ‘wash’ your bitcoins and convert them back into cash.”
Nonetheless, it’s not like with fiat cash people haven't used it for purchasing all sort of illegal things and also money laundering. I believe when it comes to money whether its fiat cash, crypto or any asset people always find ways to cheat the system or at least try to. So, for me, it's not a matter of cryptocurrency, in particular. People who engage in illegal activity will find a way with fiat cash or crypto to get what they want.
According to News.bitcoin.com, “In the real world, there is no blockchain to monitor the movement of U.S. dollars in real-time. Laundering cash in small amounts is as easy as walking into a casino, and in larger amounts easier still if you have a cash-based business for that express purpose. But on the web, the blockchain sees and records everything, making it easy for observers to monitor the movement of stolen funds as they are disbursed”.
I believe that money laundering is not a new activity that started with crypto. This has been going on for much more time than crypto creation. Andres Baravalle, a computer scientist at the University of East London, studies retail on the dark web “But even Baravalle is keen to point out that not everything about the currency is dark, nor was it intended for criminal use. “Most of the use is actually in the clean economy – or clean enough." Whether or not you believe crypto isjust for people engaging in the illegal activity the truth is that criminal activity occurs wheater or not you're using crypto. Since crypto is still new, many don’t understand it and rejected it. It also does not help that important institutions are being hacked, and these activities are being linked to cryptocurrency, this gives the virtual currency bad fame.
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