Recent research by the blockchain analytics company Elliptic claims that the use of Bitcoin is allowing billions of dollars worth of Chinese fentanyl to pour into the United States. According to a research by Elliptic’s blockchain, these businesses’ Bitcoin wallets received thousands of payments, with a 450% increase in transactions from the previous year.
According to the research, 17 of the 90 suppliers who contacted them were eager to supply finished fentanyl by itself, even though this practice has been forbidden in China since 2019. The information revealed that customers in North America and Western Europe received more than half of these regionalized payments, totaling over $14 million in fentanyl precursor chemicals.
According to the research paper, it emphasizes how cryptocurrencies facilitate these illegal transactions since they provide safe, discrete, and hard-to-track payments. A rise in overdose mortality in the United States has been attributed to the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin.
Further investigations show that most of the substance is produced in China, with shipments entering the United States illegally through Mexico. It has become much more challenging for law enforcement organizations to track and intercept these shipments due to the use of cryptocurrencies to facilitate these transactions.
The report by Elliptic highlights the need for greater regulation of the cryptocurrency market to prevent its use in illegal activities. It also calls for greater cooperation between law enforcement agencies in different countries to tackle the problem of international drug trafficking.
Use Of Cryptocurrencies For Illegal Activities, Not New
The company, in their statement, says using cryptocurrency in illegal activities is not new. Criminals have used cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for money laundering and other unlawful transactions for years. Cryptocurrencies’ decentralized nature and anonymity make them an attractive option for criminals looking to evade detection.
Elliptic’s research emphasizes the necessity for more regulation of the cryptocurrency market to stop it from being used for criminal purposes. To combat the issue of international drug trafficking, it also urges for increased cooperation between law enforcement organizations in other countries.
Analysts, therefore, affirmed that using cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes is not a recent development. They went ahead to confirm that criminals have used cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for money laundering and other nefarious activities for years. For criminals wanting to avoid detection, cryptocurrencies’ decentralized structure and anonymity make them a desirable alternative.
To combat the issue of international drug trafficking, it also urges for increased cooperation between law enforcement organizations in other countries. It is advised that while using cryptocurrencies has numerous advantages, we must endeavor to keep them out of the wrong hands and promote responsible usage.