Bitcoins Ties to the Dark Side of the Web
The virtual currency bitcoin makes headlines as much for its links to the online underworld as its soaring price. According to the former assistant US attorney Danya Perry the “dark web is full of vendors who accept only, exclusively bitcoin.”
The dark web is a little known side to the internet that is rarely seen by day–to-day users. It contains sites which will sell drugs, link you to computer hackers, sell counterfeit licenses and credit cards and even advertise murder for hire.
Bitcoin is favored by the operators of these sites as it offers total anonymity.
Recently the prominent bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of funneling cash to one of the largest sites on the dark web, Silk Road.
Shrem is accused of conspiring with a man called Robert Faiella to sell more than $1 million in bitcoins to the users of Silk Road despite knowing that it would be spent on illegal uses.
Both men now face charges of money laundering, conspiracy and failing to file suspicious activity reports with government banking authorities. They are facing sentences of up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.