The report, dubbed “Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies: Technical and Organizational Barriers and Future Threats,” is focused on two main angles — how terrorists use cryptocurrencies in their current state and how could they possibly use them in the future as the industry evolves.
The authors believe that cryptocurrencies currently pose no significant threat as a means of terrorism financing. However, if cryptocurrencies started providing anonymity and improved security, combined with the lack of relevant state regulations, the risk of their potential use by terrorists would increase, per the report.
Moreover, RAND believes that trading in countries with no proper regulation or on unregulated markets, such as Darknet, contributes to a higher risk of crypto being used for illicit purposes.
Despite those threats, regulation and oversight of the industry, along with international cooperation between law enforcement and the intelligence community could help prevent terrorists from using crypto to fund their illicit activities, according to RAND.
RAND continues that, as long as new crypto hacks emerge and prices remain unstable, terrorist groups are unlikely to use them to their full potential.
The RAND Corporation (Research ANd Development) is a global policy think tank in Washington D.C. that conducts research and analysis for the U.S. military. Members of RAND have also made contributions to technology, artificial intelligence and the development of the internet.
As Cointelegraph previously wrote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would establish a crypto task force to combat terrorist use of cryptocurrencies in September 2018. It contained a reward policy for assisting regulators in providing information “leading to convictions related to terrorist use of digital currencies.”
As for the darknet, the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) sent to hidden network markets increased by 70 percent in 2018. A recent report by Chainalysis states that darknet activity is relatively uninfluenced by BTC price action and does not necessarily drop when the price drops.