Europol: Terrorists Are Not Using Cryptocurrency To Fund Attacks


The European Union Police Service published a new report on cybercrime called “The Internet Organized Threat Assessment 2018.” According to it, Europol expects that in the years to come, criminals will use smart contracts to organize terrorist attacks, fraud, and bribery.

The report also says that the terrorists did not use cryptocurrencies to organize recent attacks in Europe. Europol mentioned several cases when terrorist groups took bitcoin-donations, but with their help, they financed only the online infrastructure and the purchase of server hosting.

“Despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies. The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions – their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services,” the report says.

Europol noted that bitcoin remains the main cryptocurrency with which law enforcement bodies have to deal, despite the growing popularity of the altcoin-oriented anonymity, for example, Monero or Zcash.

Although last year Europol already warned of the growing role of Zcash, Monero, and Ethereum in cybercrime.

“Historically Bitcoin enjoyed over 80% of the cryptocurrency market share, but by the start of 2017, this had dropped to less than 35%. However, this is not reflected in cybercrime investigations within the EU, where Bitcoin remains the most commonly encountered cryptocurrency. That said some Member States highlight a small shift towards more privacy orientated currencies such as Monero or Zcash, ” notes Europol.

The Europol report also says that hidden mining using malicious scripts is a “new trend in the world of cybercrime”.

According to the document, decentralized crypto exchanges that do not require clients to comply with the KYC procedure “may soon become a more profitable channel for money laundering.”