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Myth Debunked: Exploring the Real Uses of Crypto Assets Beyond Illicit Activities

Myth Debunked: Exploring the Real Uses of Crypto Assets Beyond Illicit Activities

GamesPad: Myth Debunked: Exploring the Real Uses of Crypto Assets Beyond Illicit Activities 1

The common misconception that virtual currency is primarily used for illicit activities, such as money laundering and terrorism financing, stems from several factors.

Firstly, the pseudonymous nature of many crypto assets allows users to conduct virtual currency transactions without revealing their identities. This anonymity can create a perception that virtual currencies provide a safe haven for criminals to engage in illegal activities without fear of being traced.

Secondly, the relatively new and rapidly evolving nature of the cryptocurrency space has led to a lack of understanding among the general public and regulators. The anonymity and decentralization features of some cryptocurrencies have been misconstrued as being inherently linked to criminal activities.

While it is true that crypto assets have been used for illicit purposes such as money laundering, it is essential to recognize that traditional forms of currency are also commonly involved in illegal transactions.

Moreover, the majority of transactions in a virtual currency are legitimate, and the technology itself can be employed to enhance transparency and traceability. As the regulatory landscape evolves, efforts are being made to address these misconceptions and ensure that crypto assets are used responsibly within the bounds of the law.

Virtual Currency Legitimate Use Cases

Is crypto illegal?

Source: Freepik

Virtual currency has various legitimate and mainstream uses that extend beyond the misconceptions associated with illicit activities such as drug trafficking, and other types of crypto crime. Here are three key areas where digital or virtual currency can play a significant role:

Use Cases for Investors and Financial Institutions

Crypto use cases

Source: Freepik

Virtual currency can be a wonderful tool for investing. We can see on the example of Bitcoin how one can multiply his funds by investing them in the right digital currency.

Store of value

Some virtual currencies, particularly Bitcoin, are often referred to as “digital gold” and are seen as a store of value similar to precious metals. Investors and financial institutions may use cryptocurrencies as a way to diversify their investment portfolios and hedge against economic uncertainties.

Speculation and trading

Virtual currency is actively traded on various virtual currency exchanges, attracting investors, financial institutions, and traders seeking potential profits through price fluctuations of virtual currencies. The high volatility of digital currency can provide opportunities for short-term and long-term crypto trading strategies.

International remittances

Can crypto compete with the central bank?

Source: Freepik

Cost-effective transactions

Crypto currency can facilitate faster and more cost-effective transactions in most countries compared to traditional banking methods using fiat currency. Crypto currency transactions allow individuals to send and receive money globally without the need for intermediaries, reducing costs of transactions and increasing financial inclusion, especially for those without access to traditional banking services.

Financial inclusion

Virtual currency has the potential to provide financial services to the unbanked (those who do not have a bank account) or underbanked populations (those who cannot access the full range of services provided by the country’s central bank) in developing countries, enabling them to participate in the global economy.

Hedge Against Inflation

Source: Freepik

Limited supply

Some virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, have a capped supply, which means there is a maximum number of coins that can ever be mined. This scarcity feature can make these virtual currencies attractive as a hedge against inflation, as their value may not be subject to the same inflationary pressures as traditional fiat currency issued by the government.


The decentralized nature of crypto currency, achieved through blockchain technology, can provide an alternative financial system that is not directly influenced by government policies or the central bank. This decentralization of cryptocurrency can be appealing in regions facing economic instability or high inflation and contribute to homeland security.

It’s important to note that while digital currencies have these legitimate use cases, the adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrency are still evolving. Governments are working on legal frameworks to give cryptocurrency a legal status and prevent its illicit use such as money laundering, drug trafficking, and other types of crypto crime.

As the industry matures, cryptocurrency may play an increasingly integral role in various aspects of the global financial system.

Regulatory Standards

Where is crypto legal?

Source: Freepik

Regulatory efforts and compliance standards aimed at reducing the illicit use of cryptocurrency have been evolving to address concerns related to money laundering, terrorism financing, fraud, and other illegal activities connected with crypto. Here are some key aspects of these efforts.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) Regulations

Many jurisdictions have implemented or are in the process of developing anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations that require virtual currency exchanges and wallet providers to verify the identities of their users. This helps in preventing anonymous transactions and enhances transparency thus fighting crypto crime.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Guidelines

The FATF, an international standard-setting body, has issued guidelines for countries to regulate and supervise crypto currency and virtual currency service providers (VASPs). These guidelines include requirements for implementing anti-money laundering measures and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) measures in the cryptocurrency space.

Registration and Licensing Requirements

Some countries and governments require cryptocurrency exchanges and other service providers to register with regulatory authorities and obtain licenses to operate. This helps ensure that cryptocurrency exchanges adhere to specific banking standards and are subject to regulatory oversight. Special requirements may be specified by the tax law enforcement bodies. So, in many countries, income in crypto is subject to a capital gains tax.

Transaction Monitoring and Reporting

Governments and legal bodies often include requirements for monitoring and reporting suspicious virtual currency transactions. Cryptocurrency businesses are expected to implement robust systems for detecting and reporting cryptocurrency transactions that may be linked to criminal activities.

Blockchain Analytics and Technology Solutions

Regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies in some countries are increasingly utilizing blockchain analytics tools to trace and track crypto transactions on public blockchains. These tools help identify suspicious patterns in Bitcoin transactions and provide insights into potential illegal activities.

Collaboration Between Regulators and Industry

Collaboration between regulatory authorities, federal law enforcement agencies, and crypto industry participants is crucial for addressing emerging challenges in the cryptocurrency space. This includes sharing information on threats, developing best practices for introducing and using crypto, and fostering responsible innovation in the crypto space.

Education and Awareness

Regulatory bodies are working to educate the public such as Bitcoin users, businesses, and financial institutions about the risks associated with crypto currency and decentralized finance, and the importance of compliance with existing regulations implemented by the government.

This includes promoting awareness about potential scams and fraudulent schemes by using cryptocurrency.

International Cooperation

Given the borderless nature of cryptocurrency, international cooperation is essential. Regulators and law enforcement agencies from different countries are working together to share information and coordinate efforts to combat cross-border crime that involves cryptocurrency.

While these government efforts are essential for mitigating risks, there is an ongoing need for responsible development and supervision of electronic payments that use crypto currency.

Striking a balance between fostering innovation and protecting against crime thus fostering homeland security is crucial for the long-term success and acceptance of virtual currency within the global financial system.

As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to evolve, regulatory frameworks will likely adapt to address new challenges and developments.

Law Enforcement Perspective: Is Crypto Illegal?

Ensuring homeland security of commiting a crime?

Source: Freepik

From a law enforcement perspective, is crypto illegal?

It is crucial to highlight that this type of financial asset, cryptocurrency, is not inherently illegal. While these systems can be exploited by crypto crime actors for illegal activities, they are also used by legitimate consumers for legal Bitcoin transactions and other crypto activity types.

Law enforcement recognizes the dual nature of these digital funds and aims to strike a balance between addressing potential risks and fostering responsible use of crypto. Here are key points from the law enforcement view.

Recognition of legitimate uses of Bitcoin and other types of crypto money

Law enforcement agencies acknowledge that virtual currencies have legitimate use cases and can serve as a means of exchange, a store of value, and a mechanism for financial inclusion.

Many individuals and businesses use cryptocurrencies for legal and transparent transactions. Some countries such as El Salvador made Bitcoin legal tender and use Bitcoin as a payment method along with the US dollar.

Focus on illegal activities

The primary concern for federal law enforcement agencies is addressing illegal activities such as money laundering, terrorism financing, fraud, the use of crypto by drug traffickers, and other forms of financial crime facilitated by virtual currencies. The focus is on identifying and prosecuting individuals or entities engaging in darknet markets rather than targeting the crypto technology itself.

Importance of regulation and compliance

Legal bodies support government efforts that aim to bring transparency and accountability to the virtual space and crypto funds. Adequate regulation, including AML and KYC measures, helps prevent illicit actors from exploiting the pseudonymous nature of crypto funds.

Collaboration with industry

Legal agencies often collaborate with the crypto space to share information and develop strategies for combating illegal activity. This collaborative approach includes working with cryptocurrency exchanges where users conduct transactions, Bitcoin and other crypto wallet providers, and other cryptocurrency service providers to enhance security and compliance measures.

Blockchain analysis tools

Legal bodies increasingly utilize blockchain and transaction analysis tools to trace and track transactions on public blockchains. These tools help investigators follow the flow of funds and identify patterns associated with illegal activities, contributing to the detection and prosecution of criminals who use virtual currency.

Educating the public

Legal bodies are actively involved in educating the public about the risks associated with virtual currencies even in the cases when they are a legal tender, while also promoting awareness of the legitimate uses of these technologies.

Balancing innovation and security

Recognizing the potential benefits of blockchain and crypto, law enforcement aims to strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring the security of financial systems by preventing illegal activity that involves crypto funds. Authorities in many countries often encourage responsible development within the legal and regulatory framework.

In summary, law enforcement recognizes that virtual currencies have legitimate uses and are not inherently illicit. The focus is on addressing illegal activities while fostering responsible use of crypto and compliance with regulations.

By collaborating with the main stakeholders and leveraging technological tools, law enforcement works to create an environment where virtual currencies can coexist with traditional banking systems in a secure and legal manner.

Global Cooperation

Imposing a complete ban or following the path of El Salvador?

Source: Freepik

The digital revolution has brought about significant changes to the global financial landscape, with virtual currencies playing a central role. To effectively address the challenges posed by this transformation and combat crimes involving stolen funds such as drug trafficking, international cooperation and regulatory alignment are crucial.

Cross-border nature of Bitcoin and crypto in general

Bitcoin and any other crypto operate on a decentralized and borderless basis. Illegal activities involving Bitcoin or other coins often span multiple jurisdictions and countries. International cooperation is essential to facilitate information sharing, coordinate investigations, and ensure a unified approach to combatting transnational crimes.

Consistency in crypto regulation

Achieving regulatory alignment among different countries helps create a consistent and predictable environment for businesses operating in the digital asset space. This consistency is essential for fostering innovation, encouraging responsible development, and preventing regulatory arbitrage.

AML and KYC standards

Money laundering, drug trafficking using stolen funds, and terrorism financing risks associated with digital assets can be mitigated through standardized Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) practices. An aligned international regulation ensures that businesses comply with similar standards globally, reducing the likelihood of regulatory loopholes.

Enhanced investigative capabilities

Crimes involving Bitcoin often require sophisticated investigative techniques. International cooperation allows law enforcement agencies to pool resources, share expertise, and leverage advanced technologies for effective investigations and prosecutions.

Global financial stability

Digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, can impact the financial stability of many countries. Regulatory alignment helps prevent regulatory arbitrage and ensures that risks associated with digital assets are appropriately managed on a global scale, contributing to the financial stability of countries all around the world.

Protection of investors and consumers

Consistent international regulations provide a higher level of protection for investors and consumers participating in the digital asset ecosystem. This protection is crucial for building trust in the market and encouraging widespread adoption of legitimate digital asset exchange services.

Preventing regulatory gaps

The lack of international cooperation can lead to regulatory gaps, where illicit actors exploit differences in regulatory approaches across jurisdictions and countries. Alignment in regulations helps close these gaps in different countries, making it more difficult for criminals to take advantage of regulatory disparities.

Facilitating innovation

International cooperation in developing legal standards can provide clarity for businesses operating in the digital asset space, encouraging innovation while ensuring that developments adhere to legal and ethical standards. A supportive regulatory environment can foster the growth of a robust and responsible digital asset space and its all aspects including trading, Bitcoin mining, and others.

Global response to emerging threats

How to combat emerging threats connected with the dark web

Source: Freepik

Rapid advancements in technology pose new and evolving threats. International cooperation enables a coordinated response to emerging challenges, allowing regulatory bodies to adapt to technological developments and address potential risks promptly.

The importance of international cooperation and regulatory alignment in addressing challenges posed by the digital revolution and combating crimes involving Bitcoin and other digital assets cannot be overstated.

It fosters a unified and coordinated response, enhances investigative capabilities, promotes global financial stability, and facilitates responsible innovation in the digital asset space across all countries. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, ongoing collaboration among countries all around the world becomes increasingly essential to create a secure and well-regulated environment for the global economy.


In conclusion, the debunking of the myth surrounding virtual currencies primarily being associated with activities that cannot be called legal highlights the need for a nuanced understanding of the diverse applications of crypto assets.

The misconceptions rooted in anonymity and the evolving nature of the cryptocurrency space are gradually being addressed through education, regulatory efforts, and technological advancements empowered by the government bodies of many countries.

The legitimate and mainstream uses of virtual currencies, ranging from investment opportunities to international remittances and serving as a hedge against inflation, underscore their potential positive impact on the global financial landscape. Recognizing these legitimate use cases is crucial for fostering responsible development and supervision in the space.

Regulatory frameworks, both at the national and international levels, play a pivotal role in mitigating the risks associated with virtual currencies. Efforts such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, Know Your Customer (KYC) standards and collaboration between regulators and industry stakeholders are essential for creating a secure and transparent environment.

Law enforcement perspectives further emphasize that virtual currencies are not inherently illegal; rather, the focus should be on addressing crime while promoting responsible use and compliance with regulations. The use of advanced technologies, collaboration with the major players, and education efforts contribute to striking the right balance between innovation and legal security.

Global cooperation and regulatory alignment emerge as critical components in addressing the challenges posed by the digital revolution. The borderless nature of virtual currencies requires unified efforts to combat transnational crimes, ensure consistency in regulatory frameworks, and enhance investigative capabilities. This collaborative approach not only protects investors and consumers but also contributes to global financial stability.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, ongoing collaboration among countries becomes increasingly vital to create a well-regulated environment that fosters innovation while preventing crime. The journey toward responsible and mainstream adoption of virtual currencies requires a shared commitment to understanding, regulation, and cooperation on a global scale.

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Disclaimer. This material should not be construed as a basis for making investment decisions or as a recommendation to participate in investment transactions. Trading digital assets may involve significant risks and can result in the loss of invested capital. Therefore, you must ensure that you fully understand the risk involved, consider your level of experience, investment objectives, and seek independent financial advice if necessary.