Crypto and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis estimates that the percentage of bitcoin transactions connected to illicit dark web activity has decreased to less than one percent.
In 2012, when Silk Road was still fully operational, bitcoin transactions from criminal dealings were estimated to make up seven percent of all bitcoin transactions.
The report, made public in a webinar hosted by Chainalysis, noted that while the usage of bitcoin specifically has gone down, the gross dollar amount spent on the dark web’s illegal products and services has risen.
Chainalysis estimated that in 2017, over $872 million in various crypto assets was spent on illicit goods and services on the dark web. Bitcoin was the most popularly used crypto asset during this period.
Projections for 2019 surpass that amount by a sizeable margin; we’re just roughly six months into the year and Chainalysis’ estimate already stands at over $500 million.
The inversely proportionate relationship between bitcoin usage and gross dollar amount seems inextricably tied to bitcoin’s recent price surges.
Since the value of bitcoin has risen so dramatically, it takes fewer bitcoins to surpass the gross dollar amount recorded in previous years.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have historically been much maligned in the general public’s eye in large part due to the cryptocurrency’s perceived tight connection to illegal transactions on the dark web.
Efforts continue worldwide to make it easier for authorities to spot instances of crypto fraud and track cryptocurrencies used in illegal transactions.