Blockchain prevents money laundering and criminal activity
Ever heard of the "Dark Web" or Tor VPN? How about the "Onion Browser?" Many relate the idea of a virtual private network with dirty web activity or financing cross border drugs, potential fraud and even "cyber" terrorism. Not all networks are created equal.
Why do we need secure networks? That's interesting since many agencies have always used them for secret or proprietary protections of data. The transport of an agency or person's data across the globe or just the country must protected and noone wants their work to be captured, manipulated and used for means in which it was not intended. Thus, the virtual private network (VPN) or permissioned network (password protected) that use cryptography to ensure the highest level of security for the user. This is known to be mostly used in the "Blockchain". The Blockchain is one of the most popular forms of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that we hear so much about today. It is very important to note, there are people that have the notion that this type of decentralized autonomous organization network can potentially be the perfect avenue for criminal and equally, terrorist activity. So, I've looked into this and found a few interesting things about blockchain and bitcoin that promotes integrity within transactions more so than fraud or dark activity.
One project that has taken on a solution to prying eyes is the TOR Project. If you don't know, originally TOR was known as "The Onion Router" (TOR for short) and using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity to the user. TOR uses volunteer nodes around the globe that passes through more than 7000 relays to protect the user activity from surveillance. "The intent for Tor's use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored." One of the ICOs that promotes their tokens as the most secure token in the cryptocurrency universe is "TokenPay." This company uses the TOR browser, encrypted and untraceable transactions features for maximum security. TPay uses a multisignature transaction engine (MTE) which creates keys that are generated by the participants in the network. Nothing is shared unless the user shares it. All parties verify via the Blockchain upon initial and completion of the transaction without any central party controlling it.
How does Bitcoin prevent money laundering and dirty money created by criminals and terrorists? Simple; Blockchain Security Protocol. With the advent of distributed ledger technology, we have seen many new companies pop up. Some legit and others not so much. With new and open source technology that could possibly change the world, there has to be some level regulatory surveillance to protect the innocent and punish the non-compliant. Therefore regulatory technology or "regtech" has become the focus of 2018. With the basic KYC or know your customer protocol, this is helpful to ensure the right person is transacting within only their account. It helps the host company to keep controls over their network and protects their members. Additionally, the fintech community requires a bit higher security. This brought about the next level of regulatory security; AML (Anti Money Laundering) and CTF (Counter Terrorist Finance). One example of AML software used for banks and credit unions is "Verafin." This is advanced software to better assess and detect suspicious activity and potential wrongful transactions. AML BitCoin was one of the first decentralized and AML + KYC compliant cryptocurrencies. It also uses biometric identification to verify the owners of the digital wallets. Another level of deterrent for members with bad intentions on the digital network.
With the advent of the Blockchain there are a series of questions one must answer in order to buy/sell or trade cryptocurrency. Similar to the purpose of an "I-9" form in the USA for employment, this helps to identify you are a citizen of a specific country and can prove it. Some issuers of the tokens or digital coins will ask more detailed questions, others want a copy of your picture ID and others require proof of address and certain resident data. It would be a red flag if someone put some address that did not match a particular country or state format. Also it would be very difficult for a criminal to enter all their details and attempt to perform functions on the blockchain successfully. Their details are recorded and tracked when needed. These are legitimate deterrents to digital transactions falling into the wrong hands.
Both UK Finance and EUs banking authority have issued discouraging statements about doing business with bitcoin exchanges. In the UK, El Toro's Iqbal Gandham detailed how "the moment you mention crypto to a bank it's like you are a drug dealer." Also, one bank head, Mr Arnold writes "when you look on the dark web, everything there is being paid for with cryptocurrency." You don't know who is transferring money in or out. If cryptocurrency for instance goes to Iran and we're involved we get shut down by the government."
Know this as well, fiat currency exists because we trust it. Money is a concept if we don't trust it, it won't work. [The USD currency that we call $1 is not worth the paper it is printed on. That would be fraud in any language yet, we continue to use it as devalued currency. How do we compare devalued, trusted currency with valued and appreciating digital currency?]
So we see JP Morgan executive say that "bitcoin is a fraud and it was only fit for drug dealers, murderers and people living in North Korea. Simply, anyone trading it is stupid." This was in September 2017. In December 2017 bitcoin was trading at over $19,000, up from $1000 earlier in the year. Then in early 2018 we find out that Bank of America, Barclays, UBS, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and yes JP Morgan. They all have invested millions in research for peer to peer (P2P payment solutions and better ways to serve their customers before losing many to the decentralized digital currency world. With so many cryptocurrencies creating faster and cheaper ways to transact funds across borders, the winners will certainly listen to the unbanked, underbanked and those that have done it the best. (check this site for article: https://cointelegraph.com/news/a-crypto-company-could-overtake-wall-streets-biggest-banks-says-blockchain-vc )