The 4.1 Bitcoin payment was made in March at a time when that amount would be worth around $4,000. The transfer to the hitman’s digital wallet was presented to the court as evidence. The murder was never carried out, though, and the intended target was present during the sentencing and spoke with the woman after the fact.
Digital currencies’ supposed anonymity has made them a popular choice for criminals. Dark web sites like AlphaBay and SilkRoad have used Bitcoin for transactions for exactly this reason. Other opponents of Bitcoin have accused the cryptocurrency of being used particularly for money laundering and criminal pursuits.
At the same time, proponents of digital currency readily point out that the overwhelming majority of money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes are conducted with fiat currencies. Siân Jones, founder of EDCAB – the European Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology – told a European Parliament committee:
“The perception that cryptocurrencies are anonymous is largely myth. The corollary that cryptocurrencies are mainly used to launder money is grossly-overstated and unsubstantiated. The ability to trace past transactions render virtual currencies highly unsuitable for money laundering.”