Why is crypto = for criminals seen as a legitimate argument? Bitcoin, the most used crypto in crime (not XMR), accounted for less than 1% of illicit activities from 2017-2020

I am very new to crypto and one of the first things I heard about it was its connection to crime. I didn’t know how to respond when it’s brought up so I decided to check if it was true.


Enter [this independent report](https://cryptoforinnovation.org/resources/Analysis_of_Bitcoin_in_Illicit_Finance.pdf) published earlier this year. The 3 primary authors are:

* Michael Morell – Former CIA Acting Director
* Josh Kirshner – Former Special Assistant for Political-Military Affairs to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
* Thomas Schoenberger – Associate at Beacon Global Strategies, a “strategic advisory firm specializing in International Policy, Defense, Cyber, Intelligence, and Homeland Security”


A little background about the lead author, Michael Morell:
> My entire 33-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency was driven by one over-riding mission – presenting objective facts and analysis to policymakers so that they could make the best possible decision for the country. Such **facts and analysis help overcome fear, misperception, and narrow interests.**


Now onto the content of the actual paper.


**As a summary**, among other things, it says:
> *For Bitcoin specifically… illicit activity makes up less than 0.5 percent of total transaction volume*.


**Cleaning money? Not really**:
> *Identified cases of laundering through cryptocurrencies remain relatively small compared to the volumes of cash laundered through traditional methods.*


**About XMR:** Bitcoin is still the most common crypto for illicit activity, but privacy coins like Monero are more likely to be used for this purpose:
> *And while Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency most used in illicit activity, other cryptocurrencies are used far more often for illicit purposes as a share of their total transactions.*


> *The prominent DNM “White House Market” has moved to accepting Monero exclusively. Similarly, the ransomware group, Sodinokibi, no longer accepts Bitcoin as payment and will only take Monero.*


DNM stands for “dark net market”


TLDR: Not even remotely true.

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