Bitcoin – The beginning of the end?

Today’s events, where Bitcoin scammers have sent bomb threats to schools and businesses, demanding payment in Bitcoin, demonstrates what we’ve all known for some time. That, given its perfect anonymity,  Bitcoin is the favored route for extreme criminal “commerce”. How long before the authorities ban it, and take control of the crypto currency game?

Today The Verge website posted an article alleging that Bitcoin scammers had threatened  schools and businesses with bombings if they didnt pay into Bitcoin wallets;

Spammers have sent a wave of threats to businesses, schools, and other locations, demanding bitcoin in exchange for not detonating a supposed bomb. There’s no evidence of any actual explosives being placed or detonated, but it’s still caused numerous evacuations and law enforcement investigations, and police are investigating potential threats, asking victims to exercise caution.

Several examples of the email threat have been posted online. A typical example, printed by the Cedar Rapids Police Department in Iowa, carries the subject line “Do not waste your time.” Its sender warns that a man has carried an explosive device into “the building where your business is conducted.” (The explosive material appears to vary across messages.)

The sender demands $20,000 in bitcoin by the end of the day, claiming the “recruited person” will detonate the bomb if he sees any police activity or unusual behavior. “Nothing personal this is just a business,” the email continues. “If the explosive device detonates and the authorities see this letter: We are not terrorists and dont [sic] assume any liability for explosions in other places.” The messages include a bitcoin wallet address; it’s not yet clear how many people — if any — have actually paid a ransom.”

This has been going on for a while, but seems this is the first “big wave” of attacks and threats, and as such, will stretch emergency and police services.
It begs the question, since Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are known to be the favored “commercial fiat” of the underworld, why have the authorities taken such a lenient stance?
Certainly all major governments have been exploring and developing their own crypto-fiats, but regulators have been battling the cryptoworld, and recently the US tax authorities resolved the uncertainty as to whether it was a security, and therefore bound by security rules, regulations and of course, tax law.
Which begs the ultimate question – how long before the full weight of the tax and legal framework is brought down on all use of “private cryptos”.
One wonders if todays events are already enough to start those wheels turning.

2 Replies to “Bitcoin – The beginning of the end?”

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