Europol has no reasons to believe that ISIL terrorists use bitcoin to finance their operations. So it is said in a recent report of the EU law enforcement agency.

According to a copy of the report obtained by Wiener Zeitung, the rumours about regular use of bitcoin by ISIL are exaggerated.

“There is no evidence however of IS-financing networks in existence. Despite third party reporting suggesting the use of anonymous currencies like Bitcoin by terrorists to finance their activities, this has not been confirmed by law enforcement.”

According to the report, the terrorists employ cryptography to protect their communications, but not for money transfers.

“The internet and social media are used for communication and the acquisition of goods (weapons, fake IDs) and services, made relatively safe for terrorists with the availability of secure and inherently encrypted appliances, such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber. In Facebook, VKA and Twitter they join closed and hidden groups that can be accessed by invitation only, and use coded language. Use is also made of anonymising tools, such as ToR (“The Onion Router”) networks and VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks).”

As CoinFox reported earlier, the terrorist attacks in Paris attracted the attention of European regulators to bitcoin. Hacker reports claimed that ISIL owns more than $3 million in bitcoins. On 17 November the European Commission on money laundering published a memo in which it revealed the plans to prevent illicit trade of cultural goods and establish “control of forms of payment such as internet transfers and pre-paid cards.”

Many experts tried to convince the European regulators that they were wrong. Head of Russian E-Money association Dr Viktor Dostov said that terrorists do not need much money to organise their attacks and do not use bitcoin. “There are money transfer systems way more dangerous than electronic transfer,” said Dostov. The recent report of Europol confirms this opinion.

Roman Korizky