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  • Contrary to the popular narrative that Bitcoin is an asset used by money launderers, a new report shines light on its use in the criminal world.
  • Tether, despite being subject to regulatory control has emerged as the most popular coin used for money laundering.

Last month, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testified in front of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, lashing out at Bitcoin. In his remarks, the CEO stated that the only “true use case for it is criminals, drug traffickers … money laundering, tax avoidance.”

A new report has shed light on the money laundering industry and the most popular cryptocurrencies criminals use. The UN report exposes Dimon’s lie as it emerged that Bitcoin is not popular with money launderers.

According to the report published by the Financial Times, Tether (USDT) has dominated as the payment method for money laundering and fraud in Southeast Asia. In part, this is because of the coin’s popularity as it is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Furthermore, its share of the global stablecoin supply grew from 50% to 71% in 2023.

The report highlights its use in online gambling platforms, noting;

Online gambling platforms, especially those operating illegally, have emerged as among the most popular vehicles for cryptocurrency-based money launderers, particularly for those using Tether,

The coin, which is the most popular stablecoin in the world has further been used in romantic scams known as “pig butchering.” This was already evident after Tether revealed last year that it had assisted the US Department of Justice and froze about $225 million in USDT linked to an international human trafficking group in Southeast Asia responsible for pig-butchering scams.

However, based on a letter by Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino shared with U.S. legislators, the company is trying to deter criminals from using their coin. In the letter, the company revealed it had onboarded the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation onto its platform.

Furthermore, as CNF reported, the Tron blockchain has overtaken Bitcoin in use by Hamas and Hezbollah. According to an analysis by Reuters, the number of Tron (TRX) wallets seized since 2021 has skyrocketed while that of Bitcoin (BTC) has fallen.

It is clear from recent data, that while some part of the total transactions of Bitcoin is used by criminals, the bigger portion is made up of legit transactions. However, it is a popular narrative by the elites and politicians who are against the financial freedom offered by Bitcoin to spread the narrative that the revolutionary digital asset is used for criminal activity.

According to Chainanalysis, transactions associated with criminal groups only accounted for 0.05% of all cryptocurrency activity between 2021 and 2022.

In fact, the use of cash is worse than Bitcoin since all BTC transactions are recorded on a public ledger, cash on the other hand is untraceable and far more popular in the criminal world.

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