Drugs Bought With Bitcoin in Sweden
Bitcoins were used by drug dealers last year in at least six transactions in Sweden, the Swedish Daily News reported. According to the newspaper, the perpetrators did most of their illegal activities online. Due to the fact that the digital currency is more widely accepted online, this does not come as a surprise.
Four people were convicted of smuggling drugs bought with bitcoin in the Swedish City of Haparanda this past December. From the computer of the main suspect, large quantities of the digital currency were found involving a hundred transactions of drugs bought with bitcoins. A local prosecutor, Lindha Stromberg, said, as quoted by the newspaper,
“He has handled around half a million kronor ($77,000, €56,500, £46,900). Then how much of it is an increase in value is difficult to say.”
Typically, bitcoin transactions are done independent of the banking system because it is a form of decentralized currency. Hence, it comes as no surprise that these transactions too were done independent of the banks. It’s rather interesting that drugs bought with bitcoin make the news, while there are plenty of other cases where drugs are bought with regular paper currencies, and this doesn’t make the news much at all.
To Regulate or Remain Free
With the rise in the general acceptance and popularity of the digital currency, governments are becoming more and more concerned about it. Bitcoin was initiated in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto and has since then become a global phenomenon. The system of transferring funds occurs through computers. Dealing in the digital currency does not involve the banks or the government per say but it has its own form of regulations to prevent cheating the system.
Despite the voices against bitcoin, many have chosen to adopt this form of currency into their daily businesses and lives. Even the US Postal Services is looking to introduce bitcoin into their network as a way to increase revenue.
On the otherside, Russia and Indonesia have recently issued bans against digital currencies from being used. Bitcoin happens to be from amongst them. Of the reasons for the ban, concerns about money laundering are cited as one of them. The central bank of Indonesia said
“bitcoin and other virtual currencies are neither currency nor legal payment tools in Indonesia. People are advised to be careful about Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.”
Users of bitcoin were also discouraged by the central bank of Estonia who said that it is probably a Ponzi scheme rather than a different form of currency or an electronic payment system.
Momentum and Opposition
As bitcoin gains momentum, opposition also seems to be rising. Instead of blaming the system of bitcoin, the users should be taken into account. The bitcoin system was designed to provide ease with transferring funds not increase illegal activity. Again people have been dealing in under-the-table illegal activities through the use of paper currency for hundreds of years. But, no one is blaming paper currency for it.
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