Government seizure of $3 billion in Bitcoin from criminal organization helps push the meme that cryptos are only for lawbreakers
To wit, most governments to this point have dealt with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using a velvet glove.¬† By this we mean they have primarily used propaganda and rhetoric to try to dissuade the general public from moving into it, or instituted minor threats such as focusing on making sure Bitcoin sellers pay their rightful taxes to try to limit its use in the general economy.
However one of their biggest propaganda weapons they have used has been to try to paint the picture that the only ones using Bitcoin are thieves and criminals.¬† And in a major bust out of Bulgaria back in May of this year, where over $3 billion worth of Bitcoin was captured from a criminal organization, this event allows government to add fuel to the fire in support of their opposition.
Bulgaria‚Äôs¬†GDP is about $52.4 billion (2016), so it is quite a shock that the¬†Bulgarian Government is sitting on an¬†approximate¬†$3 billion worth of Bitcoins seized in an anti-corruption operation¬†back in May.
Bulgarian law enforcement jointly worked with the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELC), a regional organization comprised of 12 member states, to¬†bust a¬†sophisticated organized-crime network, arresting¬†twenty-three Bulgarian nationals and seizing a total of¬†213,519 bitcoins.
SELC described the organized-crime scheme as the hacking of¬†Bulgarian Custom‚Äôs¬†computers and allowing those associated with the group to skip fees for importing goods into the country.¬†To make it work, the group recruited corrupt Customs officers to upload a virus¬†into government machines, so that hackers could establish remote access.
The organized criminal group consisted in Bulgarian nationals having connections in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Romania and Republic of Serbia. The modus operandi used was recruiting corrupted Customs officers in all involved countries with the purpose to infiltrate a virus in the Customs‚Äô computerized systems. Once the virus installed, from distance, the offenders were able to finalize various transports, as in the Customs‚Äô system appeared that the cargo was already checked and passed.
The offenders choose the bitcoin way of investing/saving the money, because it is rather difficult to be tracked and followed. –¬†Zerohedge
There have been numerous instances of Bitcoin being the primary currency for criminal activities, including the infamous confiscation of thousands of Bitcoins from the Silk Road website on the Dark Web, and the more recent scare involving malware known as Ransomware which inflicted harm to businesses and institutions such as hospitals.¬† And whenever singular events such as these make the public airwaves, it continues to be a blessing for the government in helping to feed their propaganda war on cryptocurrencies.
As more and more investors seek safe havens to move their money out of countries with capital controls, or from economies experiencing devaluing currencies, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will continue to flourish because they reside outside the dominion of government authority.¬† However this will not stop these same governments from trying to frighten the common person from trying to do the same that their more wealthy neighbors are doing in funneling their assets out of the current system, which will for the time being keep Bitcoin from reaching that critical mass where it becomes a concrete threat to the monetary status quo.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr¬†is¬†a writer for¬†The Daily Economist,¬†Secretsofthefed.com,¬†Roguemoney.net, and¬†Viral Liberty, and hosts¬†the popular¬†youtube podcast¬†on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.¬†Ken can also¬†be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the¬†Angel Clark radio show.