Messari has recently published a report that shows that for every dollar spent on the Dark Web in bitcoin (BTC) there are 800 used for money laundering.
In other words, the volume of bitcoin used to make purchases in total anonymity is eight hundred times less than the volume of US dollars used for money laundering.
This Messari report is a direct response to the statements of US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin against Bitcoin. According to Mnuchin, in fact, the growing interest in digital currencies such as bitcoin and Libra could call into question the integrity of the current financial system.
“This is indeed a national security issue. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking”.
Messari’s report serves to put bitcoin in the global financial context, in order to understand whether Mnuchin’s concerns are realistic, or not, even with regard to money laundering.
The first data highlighted is precisely the relationship between the bitcoins used on the Dark Web to carry out anonymous transactions and the US dollars used to launder money.
The ratio is 1 to 800, making the dollar much more dangerous than bitcoin.
The second statistic, on the other hand, refers to the volume of money in circulation in BTC: in total there will be only 21 million bitcoins in circulation, while the equivalent in US dollars is currently 362 million BTC and the euro equivalent is 877 million, with a difference of 98% compared to bitcoin.
The third figure compares the increase in the Fed’s balance sheet, in billions of dollars, from 2009 to the present, with the corresponding value of the BTC created and placed on the market through mining from 2009 to date, taking as a reference the value in dollars at the time of their creation.
The Fed’s balance sheet has increased by nearly $1.7 trillion over the past 10 years, while the volume in dollars of BTC created over the same period is only $12 billion, a difference of 13.664%.
From these figures, it is difficult to imagine how bitcoin can, to date, call into question the integrity of the current financial system, and this suggests that the concerns of the US Treasury Secretary are largely overestimated.