*“A lie will travel around the whole world while the truth is still getting its boots on.”*An article posted September 2015 claimed that a group of "hackers" called "GhostSec" had discovered a Bitcoin wallet containing $20M worth of Bitcoin tied to ISIS/Islamic State.http
was intrigued, because if it were true it would be verifiable. Bitcoin's design allows someone who has discovered a Bitcoin wallet to post the address of that wallet publicly so that everyone else can verify its contents and history. So I asked the journalist who wrote the article, and the GhostSec people named in the article, for corroborating evidence.The
GhostSec people did not reply to me, but the journalist replied to say that it was a mistake — he had never meant to assert that there was a Bitcoin wallet tied to ISIS/Islamic State and someone else had added that detail to his story:https://twitter.com/zooko/status/648169001755873280My
conclusion: “Remember that $20M of Bitcoin linked to Islamic State? Yep, it was bullshit.”Now, in the aftermath of the horrific Paris attacks, the bullshit has gained wings:* http://www.batblue.com/hacking-group-discovers-3m-isis-bitcoin-wallet/
In which a member of GhostSec explicitly asserts:
“The Islamic State does use cryptocurrencies as a form of income to fund their ongoing operations and we have managed to uncover several Bitcoin addresses used by them. One of the accounts we analyzed was found to contain 3 million U.S. dollars worth of Bitcoins. More on that incident can be found here at
The news article he's pointing to? Yep, that's the same bullshit story from last September that has been recanted by its author.Bottom-line
: the latest claims of ISIS/Islamic State using Bitcoin come without evidence, even though Bitcoin's architecture makes it uniquely easy to provide evidence. The people making the claims are known bullshitters. This doesn't prove that ISIS/Islamic State *isn't* using Bitcoin, but there's no particular reason to believe that they are.