Financial firms and governments deeply skeptical of cryptocurrencies – survey

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“All respondents accept that cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to criminals,” the survey’s authors said.

The extent to which crypto is used for crime is unclear, with past research by major blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis this year putting the rate as low as 1% of all transactions.

Still, digital currencies are popular with cyber-criminals, as the July hack of major Twitter users to reap bitcoin shows.

Cryptocurrencies have also been used for the funding of militant groups. The U.S. Justice Department said last month it had targeted efforts by the military wing of Hamas, al Qaeda and Islamic State to raise funds via cryptocurrencies.

Only a fifth of respondents from financial and other private firms said they viewed digital coins as an opportunity, the research found. Among the potential benefits cited was the possibility crypto could extend access to financial services.

The survey was based on over 550 responses from financial institutions, law enforcement and financial watchdogs, and legal and insurance firms. It also tapped the cryptocurrency industry.

(Reporting by Tom Wilson; editing by David Evans)

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