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The New York Times reports that 99% of Bitcoin transactions are not for illicit activity. And if you click through to the report from Chainalysis, you’ll see that money sent to darknet markets only account for 0.08% of all cryptocurrency transactions. Both of these figures are much better than I expected considering the headlines and framing I often see on cryptocurrency stories.
In the CryptOsint newsletter, Brenna Smith highlighted an easy to make but glaring mistake some media outlets made when reporting on other Chainalysis data:
Last week, several news outlets spread misinformation about an extremist group in Gaza called Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) using a crypto-service called Cash4ps.
These articles claimed that a wallet belonging to Cash4ps was used in its totality to fund the PRC, when in actuality, just certain transactions were. Some may see this distinction as just a question of semantics, but I can assure you there is a significant difference.
Here’s the thread in which Chainalysis attempts to stem the flow of misinformation by clarifying their report:
This political cartoon made some people mad:
The responses seem pretty reasonable to me. It’s not hard to find examples of traditional media subtly inserting personal opinions in news or straight up getting things wrong. Sure there is more garbage now, but the people who make the effort to parse the noise, go directly to experts, and learn what the truth is, are going to generally end up operating better in the world.
The Bolsonaro administration is abusing the financial information they, along with all governments, collect for usually legitimate purposes. Once a government collects information, the temptation to use it must be pretty strong.
This is the first time I’ve seen DeFi mentioned in the media in the context of sanctions evasion:
For example, Iran has been facing record-high inflation since 2019, but by using DeFi, Iranians can borrow from global markets at rates much lower than those inside Iran. Leveraging decentralized exchanges can also help the regime convert cryptocurrencies to fiat through channels that cannot be effectively controlled by outside regulators. The decentralized nature of these platforms makes them difficult to regulate as effectively as centralized exchanges.
These are conversations that all cryptocurrency communities need to be prepared to have.
And this week’s fun thing is a dog in DC that DOESN’T sell weed, but instead sells art and gives away weed. Having our local government controlled by Congress is weird.