Government-Funded Drug Trafficking Makes USD the World’s Dirtiest Currency

US Dollar-Funded Drug Trafficking Makes Bitcoin the World’s Cleanest Currency

Pablo Escobar. Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán. Rick Ross. Household names, each and every one of them; drug lords collectively responsible for punting billions of dollars’ worth of narcotics. Yet their crimes pale in comparison to those their prosecutors have been perpetrating for years. After decades of fueling proxy wars and trafficking, the US government has powder on its hands – a combination of gunshot residue, cocaine, and heroin. Those same agencies that would decree what the public can and can’t do with their cryptocurrency have broken every rule in the book.

Also read: Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony

Bitcoin, Drug Barons, and High Hypocrisy

In a 6×8 feet concrete cell in a Colorado penitentiary, prisoner 18870-111 meditates silently. He will perform this daily ritual another 18,250 times in his lifetime, which shall be expended within the confines of his cramped enclosure. The 34-year-old is serving life without parole, officially for operating a sprawling drugs marketplace. Unofficially, his life term isn’t for drug trafficking however – it’s for doing so without cutting the US government a slice of the action. His name is Ross Ulbricht and his crimes are a drop in the bucket to those perpetrated by the three-letter agencies whose fingerprints are all over his prosecution.

Even if one takes the view that drug dealing and money laundering are unlawful – and there are many, particularly in the Bitcoin community, who would demur – the hypocrisy of law enforcement is breathtaking. Many of the officials who would lock up dealers for life think nothing of committing the very same crimes. Sometimes these are rogue agents operating alone, such as Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, who helped bring down Ross Ulbricht while committing even more egregious crimes and tainting the evidence trail. But the most serious cases of government-orchestrated malfeasance see orders taken from the very heart of the so-called deep state.

US Dollar-Funded Drug Trafficking Makes Bitcoin the World’s Cleanest Currency

A Short History of US Government Lawlessness

As the following examples show, there is a very strong case for asserting that the US government, typically operating off the books through shadowy proxies, is the world’s largest cartel. What follows is a handful of the crimes we know to have been committed with the blessing of US agencies. Consider this the tip of the iceberg.

Nicaragua, CIA cocaine trafficking: Widespread sources have alleged the CIA to have been complicit in cocaine smuggling in the 1980s. Funds from the narcotics operation were reputedly used to fund the Contra war in Nicaragua. It was later alleged that this operation was pivotal in creating the crack cocaine epidemic that wreaked havoc on major US cities in the 80s.

Mexico, CIA cocaine & marijuana: In 2013, it was alleged that CIA operatives oversaw the kidnap and murder of a DEA agent because he threatened their Mexican drug operations. A CIA spokesman denied the allegations. Naturally. The CIA was also implicated in similar misdeeds in Honduras and Panama, tied to its funding of the Contras in Nicaragua.

Venezuela, CIA cocaine importation: There’s a lot of drugs in South America and the CIA seems to have gotten its hands on a lot of them. After seizing a ton of cocaine in Venezuela, the confiscated narcotics somehow made their way onto the streets of the US. While the DEA objected to the operation, which was designed to flush out a Colombian drug cartel, the CIA proceeded anyway, because the CIA does what it wants.

Switzerland, CIA LSD importation: We have the CIA to thank for LSD. It was they who went over to Basel, Switzerland in the 1950s, where it had first been synthesized, and brought the whole supply over to the States. They then incorporated it into their secret mind control program called MK Ultra in conjunction with the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories, complete with illegal testing on humans.

Afghanistan, heroin cultivation: Reports of US government complicity in the heroin trade go back decades, with the CIA’s name predictably cropping up. Whether you believe the US was directly involved in allowing Afghanistan’s poppy fields to flourish, or simply allowed them to prosper as part of a laissez-faire policy, the end result is the same: by 2006, during peak US occupation, heroin production reached a historic high.

US Dollar-Funded Drug Trafficking Makes Bitcoin the World’s Cleanest Currency

The US Government Is the World’s Biggest Cartel

These are just a few of the cases in which US government involvement in drugs crimes has been established. While these examples were primarily perpetrated by the CIA, every branch of the US government has been complicit in similar crimes. From the FBI to state police, every branch, state, and county has its share of bad apples, like the Baltimore cops who became robbers.

It is incumbent upon us to reflect upon these cases when we consider the proactive role the US government takes in dictating the freedoms the rest of us are granted. When it locks Ross Ulbricht up for life for committing what many believe to be a victimless crime. When they lean on crypto companies such as Shapeshift to enact full KYC. When they conflate cryptocurrency with terrorism, despite all the evidence to the contrary. If the US dollar is the world’s most tainted currency, bitcoin might just be its cleanest.

Do you think the US government is still complicit in drug trafficking? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony

Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony

In prepared testimony given before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained how though terrorists have tried to raise funds through cryptocurrencies, instances are rare to non-existent. Instead, groups seeking to cause mayhem much prefer good, old cash.

Also read: Bitcoin ATMs Targeted by Malware for Sale in Underground Markets

Terrorists Prefer Cash to Cryptocurrency to Fund Efforts

“The good news is that most terrorists, particularly those operating on jihadist battlefields, inhabit environments that are not currently conducive to cryptocurrency use,” Mr. Fanusie clarified for an anxious U.S. Congress Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance this week. “They usually need to purchase goods with cash (which is the most anonymous funding method), often in areas with unreliable technology infrastructure. In addition, cryptocurrencies are based on distributed ledger (blockchain) technology, where users’ pseudonymous transactions are recorded for public viewing. This leaves a trail that unsophisticated users may find difficult to obfuscate. However, as digital currency usage grows, such barriers may fall away.”

Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony

It turns out, Mr. Fanusie is something of a trope killer for crypto. This isn’t the first time he’s disabused Congress of its assumption decentralized digital money is a force for evil. He worked for the better part of a decade at the CIA as a counterterrorism analyst. He routinely had the ears of the US military, White House policy wonks, and law enforcement. He even personally briefed then-President George W. Bush on the spectre of threats as far back as 2008.

“Cold hard cash is still king,” Mr. Fanusie continued, “but jihadist groups are building diverse portfolios. Illicit actors adopt new technologies earlier than the broader public. When paper checks, credit cards, and Paypal each emerged, criminals exploited them early on. There are enough case studies of jihadist groups experimenting with cryptocurrencies to suggest that law enforcement and the intelligence community must prepare for terrorists to try to exploit digital tokens as the technology spreads.”

Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony

Connection Still a Little Fuzzy; Job Security

The crypto currency committee has been fighting connections to terrorism put forward by governments since the day politicians discovered Bitcoin existed. As these very pages summarized, “The first conflation of digital currencies and terrorism actually stems from a 2008 paper in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology in which the author stated that ‘[terrorists] seeking to avoid detection have turned to other methods of transferring money, such as commodities trades, hawala, and digital currencies.’ In defining this latter phrase, the report referenced a paper entitled ‘The Cyber-Front in the War on Terrorism: Curbing Terrorist Use of the Internet.’ It was published in 2005. That’s right, terrorists allegedly using digital currencies is older than bitcoin itself.”

And the test for enthusiasts has always been: if in fact bitcoin core or some other crypto was used during a terrorist act, such news would be sounded to the heavens. That neither has seemingly happened is telling. For experts such as Mr. Fanusie, merely dismissing the threat won’t get him invited back to hearings. So, anyone wishing to maintain intellectual integrity, yet hope to keep their job, seem to have to thread a testimonial needle. Sure, an expert might have to admit terrorists are not using it, but they could!   

Terrorists Prefer Cash to Crypto, According to Congressional Testimony

“Cryptocurrencies may become the way we transact in the future,” Mr. Fanusie concludes. “But they are also becoming part of the illicit financing toolkit available to terrorists. FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) has now documented cryptocurrency fundraising campaigns run by social media entities associated with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Although public evidence indicates that terrorist groups have had only limited success so far with cryptocurrency fundraising efforts, the rising profile of digital currency has been accompanied by jihadist networks experimenting with them more frequently. By preparing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can limit the ability to turn digital currency markets into a sanctuary for illicit finance,” thus preserving his and his policy group’s return invitations to Congress for years to come.

Is use by terrorists a real problem for cryptocurrency adoption going forward? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Are You Ready for What Happens If Satoshi’s Coins Move?

There’s nothing remarkable about a bitcoin transaction; it happens hundreds of thousands of times a day. But there’s one set of addresses whose contents are watched with hawk eyes. Should so much as a satoshi move from one of those wallets, it will spark global headlines and make the markets go loco. That’s because those wallets belong to Satoshi Nakamoto and if his coins move, all hell breaks loose.

Also read: Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

Speculating About Satoshi’s Next Move Is Wargames for Bitcoiners

What Happens If Satoshi’s Coins Move?Governments frequently play out wargames in which they enact various doomsday scenarios. A nuclear missile from a rogue state; a dirty bomb detonated by a terrorist group; chemical warfare on the streets of a major city: all these scenarios, and more, have been played out countless times by army generals the world over.

Speculating about what would happen if Satoshi’s coins were to move is bitcoin’s wargames equivalent. This isn’t conjecture for the sake of it, in other words: it’s a serious exercise for an event that would have serious repercussions if it were to materialize. Suppose you wake up tomorrow to learn that one of Satoshi’s estimated one million BTC, after lying dormant for almost a decade, has moved to the Bitfinex hot wallet.

What would be your next move? Do you panic sell and jump into tether? Do you FOMO into buying more BTC? Or do you watch the blockchain and wait, trying to figure out Satoshi’s next move? It’s probably a good idea to work out your answer now, because if Satoshi’s coins ever do move from their current resting place, you’ll have mere minutes – if that – to act before the market does.

What Did Satoshi Mean by This?

To grasp where the market might move if Satoshi’s stash were to move (and why it would almost certainly be downward), it’s necessary to consider who bitcoin’s creator might be. There would appear to be three rational hypotheses:

1. Satoshi is one guy (or girl) who, for the sake of argument, we’ll call Satoshi Nakamoto.

2. Satoshi is a group of people who, for the sake of argument, we’ll call Hal Finney, Nick Szabo, and Gavin Andresen.

3. Satoshi is a government agency who, for the sake of argument, we’ll call the NSA.

Of the three scenarios, number 1 would present the biggest unknown. On the one hand, coins moving from Satoshi’s wallet would induce market panic at the prospect of one million BTC being dumped by their owner. On the other hand, if the incident were to presage Satoshi’s return from the digital wilderness with a newfound determination to contribute to Bitcoin Core’s development, and eight years of brilliant ideas to share with the world, well, that could prove very bullish for bitcoin. Especially if Satoshi then locked away the rest of his fortune in multi-sig to demonstrate his determination to never cash out.

For those who like their biblical allegories, bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator is synonymous with the book of Genesis. Satoshi promising never to flood the markets would be the equivalent of God sending a rainbow as his promise not to flood the earth, as recorded in Genesis 9.

What Happens If Satoshi’s Coins Move?

Make no mistake, bitcoin is better without a strong leader, as Satoshi recognized right from the start. But if he was to return it would move markets like the great flood moved mountains. And, while we’re playing wargames, if Satoshi were to return and declare Bitcoin Cash to be his original vision, the flippening might happen faster than you could fit the puzzle piece to log into Binance and load up on BCH.

But enough about option 1, as we still have two alternative doomsday scenarios to play out…

If Satoshi Is a They, Anything’s Possible

If Satoshi is the work of several people, as has been theorized, the movement of a coin from one of the earliest wallets could signal dissent. It could herald acrimony in the camp, spurring one of bitcoin’s founding fathers to move their stack in readiness to sell. If that happens, expect huge volatility, another possible fork, and denials from the remaining possible Satoshis who may have been doxxed during the course of their erstwhile colleague going rogue. The only upside to this outcome is that if Satoshi is the work of three people, that could mean only one third of their one million BTC being dumped. Even so, 330k BTC being offloaded on the open market would make quite a dent.

If Spooks, No One’s Safe

What Happens If Satoshi’s Coins Move?The third possibility – that bitcoin was developed by a government agency such as the NSA – is perhaps the most intriguing. Bitcoin uses SHA256, a hash function partly developed by the NSA, and thus it’s not surprising that many suspect the cryptocurrency to be the agency’s handiwork. If so, that fact is immaterial in the here and now; after all, Tor was in part developed by DARPA, but that hasn’t stopped hackers, whistleblowers, and dissidents from trusting it implicitly. That’s the beauty of open source code. There are no backdoors in bitcoin because anyone can inspect its code and propose modifications to it, as developers have done over the past nine years. And yet…

And yet, if it transpired that a three-letter agency was behind bitcoin, owning 5% of the total supply would be their not-so-secret weapon. When you own one million bitcoins, you don’t need to backdoor its code: you simply wait until it starts to threaten the global financial system then begin moving coins from Satoshi’s wallet just to mess with the proles. Bitcoin crashes hard, everyone but the earliest adopters gets rekt, and trust in decentralized cryptocurrency is gone for good. If the CIA or NSA created bitcoin, moving coins from Satoshi’s wallet is crypto’s very own Mutually Assured Destruction.

First the Gutter, Then the Stars

What Happens If Satoshi’s Coins Move?Regardless of which of these outcomes plays out, there is some good news for bitcoin hodlers. In the short to medium term, Satoshi’s coins moving – even without them being sold on an exchange – won’t be good for the price of BTC. But in the long-term, the effects of such a maneuver are limited. Sure, it will almost certainly depress prices, but it won’t kill off the things that made bitcoin so precious in the first place: a decentralized P2P currency that no one can censor or control. Satoshi, if he or they returns, can stall bitcoin, but remains powerless to stop it. It’s too late for that: the virus has already spread. There can be no going back.

Do you think Satoshi’s coins will ever move? Let us know in the comments section below.


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This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

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Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

The “request has been rejected,” came response from the CIA, “with the agency stating that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested documents.” A tech writer petitioned ‘the agency’ to see what it had on the subject of Satoshi Nakamoto, the name credited with founding Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency. There have been legendarily famous attempts to unmask the real person, only to find more paradox, more confusion, more wild theories. At least two online journalists believe a definitive answer just might be had through US intelligence agencies. The evidence borders on compelling and infuriating.

Also read: Star Trek Icon Joins Bitcoin Mining Revolution

Satoshi Nakamoto’s Real Identity is Probably Known by US Intelligence Agencies

It’s not often a journalist in the financial technology genre has cause to contact the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but this week proved reason enough. Keeping normal business hours, the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C. 20505 (really Vienna, VA) was evidently swamped. Three calls placed to (703) 482-0623, along with one voicemail message on the final attempt, were not returned as of publication.

Inspiration to do so came from Daniel Oberhaus, staff writer at Motherboard. In an effort to follow up on work done by bloggers and investigative journalists on the tantalizing issue of Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity, Mr. Oberhaus explained, “While recently filing some unrelated [Freedom of Information Act] FOIA requests of my own, I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask some other three-letter agencies what they know about Nakamoto.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

It’s a delicate game, FOIA requests. Agencies are keen to dismiss a request out of hand, citing vagueness, ill-prepared request documents, standing, and the perennial go to: national security. The fragility is in having spy agencies at all, for citizens’ own good is the claim, and the modern movement to make coercive government doings more transparent.

Mr. Oberhaus continued, “I decided to start broad and request all internal emails containing Satoshi Nakamoto’s name from the FBI and CIA. Agencies generally ask for these sorts of requests to be narrowed down with information you’re unlikely to have in advance, but sometimes they’ll just dump a trove of emails on your plate and say good luck.” Instead, the CIA emailed him a response, short and to the point, complete with obnoxious bureaucrat grammar of referring to itself in the third person. The “request has been rejected, with the agency stating that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested documents,” the CIA stated flatly.

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

Glomar

The CIA’s non denial-denial to Mr. Oberhaus is a classic tactic designed to be a true statement without giving away root facts. It’s known as the Glomar Response, ‘Glomar’ being the abbreviation for Global Marine, a company used by the agency to build a ship capable of salvaging downed Soviet-era subs back in the mid 1970s. The now famously canned statement was employed after a journalist filed a FOIA concerning the CIA ship for Soviet subs project.

And that paranoia extends to the present day. Blogger Alexander Muse, a contributor to Medium, wrote a series of posts (3) last year related to his attempt at uncovering Satoshi’s true identity. Mr. Muse writes about a whole host of subjects, from gourmet cooking to tech startups. His professional experience does involve tech, and he has what seems to be at least a passing interest in bitcoin. He was sucked down the rabbit hole when he learned a contact he had at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed to have inside information.

“According to my source,” Mr. Muse explained, “the NSA was able to the use the ‘writer invariant’ method of stylometry to compare Satoshi’s ‘known’ writings with trillions of writing samples from people across the globe. By taking Satoshi’s texts and finding the 50 most common words, the NSA was able to break down his text into 5,000 word chunks and analyse each to find the frequency of those 50 words.This would result in a unique 50-number identifier for each chunk. The NSA then placed each of these numbers into a 50-dimensional space and flatten them into a plane using principal components analysis. The result is a ‘fingerprint’ for anything written by Satoshi that could easily be compared to any other writing.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Known to CIA? FBI? Created by NSA? Search Intensifies

His true identity is of utmost importance to the US government precisely because, especially as the price began to rise, so many people were relying on it. The problem, before even the tech could be evaluated on its own merit, was the principal DHS worry: a foreign creator. If bitcoin can do all it claims for itself, disrupting financial markets, a country hostile to the US could quickly start that ball rolling and worse. “Why go to so much trouble to identify Satoshi?” he asked rhetorically. “My source tells me that the Obama administration was concerned that Satoshi was an agent of Russia or China — that Bitcoin might be weaponized against us in the future. Knowing the source would help the administration understand their motives. As far as I can tell Satoshi hasn’t violated any laws and I have no idea if the NSA determined he was an agent of Russia or China or just a Japanese crypto hacker.”

Mr. Muse was ultimately unable to get just who Satoshi is. Instead he was left with the conclusion DHS does know, and that bitcoin’s first billionaire was probably a collection of folks. For his effort he was personally contacted by DHS and asked to submit to an interview. He did, noting that he was unable to publish just what he discussed with DHS, but he could say their contacting him was due to his Satoshi’s Medium posts. “I’ve had to stop taking phone calls or accepting voicemail messages,” Mr. Muse concludes. “My email is almost unusable with more than 10,000 unread messages at last count. The only way to contact me now is via text — and it is likely I’m going to have to change my number fairly soon. I still don’t know who Satoshi Nakamoto really is — but I believe the NSA does.”

Is Satoshi’s identity known by US intelligence agencies? Let us know in the comments. 


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