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Old 11-06-2014, 13:52   #1
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ISIL using Digital Currencies?

As many people think Bitcoin and other Digital Currencies is a fad or has no value. It's funny have outside the USA this trend is taking off. Something to think about is your paper money, you think that isn't digital? How does your ATM work? Western union wire transfer services? Bank to Bank messages to send money overseas? Your credit cards?

Virtual currency was defined in 2012 by the European Central Bank as "a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community." Last year, the US Department of Treasury said that digital currency operates like traditional currency, but does not have all the same attributes -- as in, it doesn't have legal tender.

Digital currency, however, is a form of virtual currency that is electronically created and stored. Some types of digital currencies are cryptocurrencies, but not all of them are.

So that leads us to the more specific definition of a cryptocurrency, which is a subset of digital currencies that uses cryptography for security so that it is extremely difficult to counterfeit. A defining feature of these is the fact they are not issued by any central authority.
So with Insurgencies, in Afghanistan you don't really get to see this. In Iraq digital currency was very real. Some saw it, others didn't. SO with Insurgencies using digital currency and now cryptocurrency, how do you think they would be using them? Think about the use of the Green Dot Cards here in the USA, or a "throw away" cell phone.

Maybe something that a 18F and All-Source Analysis should think about? You think?

Here are some articles over insurgents using digital currencies:

Will Bitcoin and Other Insurgent Currencies Reinvent Commerce?

ISIL using it? U.S. Military Probing Digital Currencies in Terror Fight

ISIL using Bitcon?
"Berg Heil"

History teaches that when you become indifferent and lose the will to fight someone who has the will to fight will take over."


Intelligence failures are failures of command [just] as operations failures are command failures.
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Old 10-21-2015, 16:51   #2
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 110
I've kept this article handy as a nice primer on bitcoins and hawalas, and how they are used/abused:


Data experts are likely having a field day with bitcoin though as every transaction gets logged to the blockchain, meaning that every transaction is permanently traceable.

There are bitcoin laundering services that are out there now in an attempt to obfuscate that, but I imagine that once someone in an intel group ties a bitcoin ID to a user, backtracing transactions isn't terribly difficult.
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