Cryptocurrency has changed the ways people make payments for goods and services, but there is still a lot of skepticism about it and its safety and transparency. Its association with criminal activities has also led to some questions. Even so, its functionality has become widespread. This means that those lingering issues related to criminality need to be addressed.
Bitcoin started as a tool for bartering on an online black market called Silk Road. Criminals tarnished the currency's image from the start. Nobody knows who invented Bitcoin, which adds to the mystery and unfavorable opinion of it in many circles. Today, everyday citizens increasingly use Bitcoin to pay for utilities. That's a big change.
For people relatively far away from cryptocurrency, it seemed like Bitcoin went from a tool for criminals to a regular currency overnight. However, that process in El Salvador took over a decade. The industry is trying hard to create positive use examples for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Increasing regulation is also helping to improve the reputation of cryptocurrencies in general. Upstanding national and international institutions have started to invest, use or trade in it, which has also given more positive attention to cryptocurrency. Even so, dismantling that old narrative is a challenge.
All cryptocurrency transactions are in the open, and the misconception of anonymity is no longer a universal truth. American investigators have traced scams associated with Bitcoin, such as the Colonial Pipeline technology hacking. This proves that payments can be traced if resources are invested in the investigative process. Some places, like El Salvador and Venezuela, don't have huge resources.
A lot of attacks have made use of cryptocurrency. However, only 0.34% of cryptocurrency transactions are related to criminal activities. This is from 2020 details. Compared to other currencies, which have 2% to 5% of GDP tied up in scams and crimes, this is much less. Regulators in the United States and around the world do have their work cut out. There are still attempts to engage in criminal activity with cryptocurrency as the only payment option, and investigating and tracing payments is a resource-intensive operation.