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AG Sessions Hints at Possible Bitcoin Regulation Due to Popularity of Darknet

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TheMerkle Attorney General Bitcoin Darknet

US regulators have been keeping a close eye on Bitcoin and the darknet over the past few years. More specifically, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently voiced some major concerns regarding both topics. Additionally, he’s concerned over the use of “encrypted networks”, which seemingly hints at an impending crackdown on services such as Telegram. 

US Attorney General has Many Concerns

In a way, it is anything but surprising to see Jeff Sessions comment on Bitcoin and the darknet. While the latter item has been a thorn in the side of many people over the past few years, it has proven pretty much impossible to shut down completely. That being said, we have seen some of the more prominent darknet marketplaces disappear in recent months due to police investigations. Some battles have been won by law enforcement, but the overall war is still going in favor of the darknet right now.

No one can deny criminals are using the darknet to buy and sell guns, illegal substances, hacking tools, and stolen information. As a result, this is how most people see the darknet. Changing this business model will not be easy by any means, yet Sessions feels that some type of effort must be made in order to crack down on this activity. Especially the use of Bitcoin on the darknet is of great concern to the US Attorney General.

Whether or not this means we will see government-issued Bitcoin regulation in the US remains to be seen. There have been several warning signs that this will be the case sooner or later, although nothing has been officially confirmed whatsoever. That may explain why Bitfinex is so eager to get out of the US market, although its issuance of USDT tokens has also raised a lot of questions. Creating a digital US dollar without the consent of the Federal Reserve is a very touchy subject, to be sure.

While Sessions may be voicing concerns over Bitcoin and the darknet, it remains to be seen what he plans to do about it. No one is surprised that some people in power don’t like either concept simply because they are novel and can’t be controlled. That is only to be expected, as they represent a radical change from how traditional financial services and marketplaces work. Bitcoin doesn’t necessarily facilitate crime on the darknet, though. More importantly, most worldwide illegal activity happens in plain sight through the use of fiat currencies.

Surprisingly enough, a lot of darknet users are also growing concerned over the use of Bitcoin. More specifically, the world’s leading cryptocurrency has no privacy or anonymity traits to speak of. It is a pseudonymous currency, but that isn’t good enough for people who take their privacy and anonymity seriously. Monero is making a lot of headway in this regard, as it provides darknet users with everything they need in order to remain anonymous online. Some marketplaces are even ditching Bitcoin in favor of XMR these days.

For the time being, it remains to be seen how things will play out in regards to possible regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. There are some interesting developments on the horizon in the US, although they are all subject to speculation first and foremost. Jeff Sessions’s comments are not surprising by any means, but they also don’t hint at future developments. Regulation of cryptocurrency will become prevalent in the US sooner or later, as it is something that can’t be avoided by any means.