After a ground-shaking result from the 2017 research paper stating that 44% of Bitcoin transactions were for illegal purposes, it seems that we’ve come a long way to reduce the number to only 2% as of 2019.
The research was conducted by a blockchain analytics firm Elliptic with the help of the IBM Watson AI Lab from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It seems that this research was much more thorough than the one conducted in 2017 as it was done by the help of machine learning technology to process more than 200,000 BTC node transactions.
According to the researchers, 2% of those node transactions were accounted to purchases on the dark web. Things like child pornography, drug trafficking or the purchase of illegal substances and weapons. 21% were deemed as legal tender, while the remaining 77% remain unclassified.
Still, more than $6 billion’s worth of cryptocurrency transactions was processed, which gives at least some kind of an idea of what authorities have to deal with if that 2% is truly an accurate number.
However, it needs to be mentioned that once Bitcoin and cryptos, in general, were largely popularized after the 2017 market uptick, it became much harder to remain under the radar.
This can be determined just from the sheer number of arrests being made on BTC drug traffickers and money laundering fraudsters.