The 4.1 Bitcoin payment was made in March at a time when that
amount would be worth around $4,000. The transfer to the
hitman’s digital wallet was presented to the court as evidence.
The murder was never carried out, though, and the intended
target was present during the sentencing and spoke with the
woman after the fact.
Digital currencies’ supposed anonymity has made them a popular
choice for criminals. Dark web sites like AlphaBay and SilkRoad have used Bitcoin for transactions
for exactly this reason. Other opponents of Bitcoin have
accused the cryptocurrency of being used particularly
for money laundering and criminal pursuits.
At the same time, proponents of digital currency readily point
out that the overwhelming majority of money laundering,
terrorist financing and other financial crimes are conducted
with fiat currencies. Siân Jones, founder of EDCAB – the
European Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology – told a European Parliament committee:
“The perception that cryptocurrencies are anonymous is
largely myth. The corollary that cryptocurrencies are mainly
used to launder money is grossly-overstated and
unsubstantiated. The ability to trace past transactions
render virtual currencies highly unsuitable for money