It was only five short years ago that the majority of bitcoin transactions involved a criminal element. That number has now dropped to less than 10% of BTC transaction. This was revealed in a recent Bloomberg interview with a DEA official. The official said that most of BTC transactions involve speculation of the cryptocurrency. This is an important revelation about the use of Bitcoin as US lawmakers and regulators wrestle with how to regulate Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.
This is a testament to the increased popularity of Bitcoin over that time frame. It is also a shift in attitude from a lawless anonymous asset to a new asset class that the public is just starting to understand. It is also pretty clear that US law enforcement has figured out how to track Bitcoin transactions. A far cry from the dark web days of sites like silk road and BTC is the currency of choice of criminals. It also helps that many crypto exchanges now institute strict KYC/AML which is a standard for financial institutions. While it might not be liked by crypto purists who don’t trust the government, it is essential in keeping the criminal element out.
When future congressional hearings are held on BTC and cryptocurrencies, it will be the testimony of law enforcement that will profoundly influence lawmakers. A 90% drop in the illicit use of Bitcoin will have an immense impact on lawmakers and open up those who might have been previously for an all-out crypto ban. The battle for the future of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies will be fought in Washington whether we like it or not. Coinbase has already taken steps in preparation by establishing a PAC or political action committee with the purpose of guiding lawmakers to draft crypto friendly regulations. The education of Washington will be the first step towards the government acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the US and the rest of the world.