Chances are that you have heard about the Paris terrorist attacks, due to which, over 130 people lost their lives, and hundreds more were injured. Recent reports indicate that bitcoin might have played a role, due to a certain bitcoin address worth $3 million, linked to ISIS militants.
Based on this, following the Paris attacks which took place on Friday, the 13th November, a couple of popular news outlets began spreading a common message: that an ethical hackers group reportedly found a bitcoin address, worth $3 million, belonging to the Islamic State, and used to fund the attacks. Together with this, it was also nuanced that the cryptocurrency has been used to fund other terrorist activities throughout the world as well.
Initially, this does seem to make sense, considering the fact that organizations such as the Islamic State don’t want to have their money tracked by banks and anti-terrorist organizations. According to the original articles, it seems like the funds were discovered by Ghost Security Anonymous, which is a group of ethical hackers that has been actively fighting a war against the IS, in the online environment. Their manner of attack is to destroy the organization’s online communities, but also to find and report social media users supporting the IS, alongside with suspected recruiters.
Even if this Bitcoin address would have been found, answering the question of whether it had been used to finance the attacks requires a comprehensive investigation, which will be carried out by forensic experts. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, in the midst of these allegations, there is little to no proof to support either claims.
As you may already know, Bitcoin operates with the help of its public ledger, the Blockchain. Based on this, people can go ahead and look up just about any address, and also see all afferent transactions. This is the main reason why people doubt that ISIS uses bitcoin as their main currency, as if there were addresses associated with terrorism funding, they would be worth millions of dollars, money which is easily traceable.
According to the Ghost Security Group, it seems like they have discovered data of an impending attack on Paris, and that they are currently working with the United States Government to get a better idea of the origin of the terrorists. If true, most transactions carried out by terrorist organizations would most likely take place on the dark web, a highly unregulated area of the Internet, where tens of thousands of illegal transactions take place on a daily basis.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about these claims? Does ISIS have any reason to use bitcoin, rather than plain old cash, considering their massive amount of influence in the Middle East? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.