According to a study, cryptocurrency use, particularly Bitcoin usage, has increased dramatically in Afghanistan over the last year. Primarily due to the Taliban’s economic instability. According to the South Asian Democratic Forum (SADF):
“Bitcoin adoption in Afghanistan has skyrocketed over the last year amid economic instability brought on by the Taliban’s control of the nation.”
People Taking Refuge In Crypto
As a result of the fall of the Afghan government, individuals began to resort to the crypto market for help. Especially help with their financial problems.
Afghans began investing in the cryptocurrency market to protect their valuables. According to Siegfried O. Wolf, writing for SADF, “the Taliban will undoubtedly notice the rising investment in the crypto market in Afghanistan.”
A Potential Threat
Faced with the country’s precarious financial position, the burgeoning crypto economy offers individuals a way to make money. However, but it also poses the risk of widespread misuse. Misuse of the crypto market may lead to Afghanistan being a launchpad for unlawful (terror) operations in the digital domain. Such as cyber-attacks or online radicalisation efforts, according to the SADF.
Because China has promised to have excellent relations with the Taliban — and the terror group’s all-weather supporter Pakistan — there is a potential for technology transfer in the future.
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Week in June 2021 recognised that the epidemic increased the chances for terrorist organisations to acquire funding, notably through internet sources.
Siegfried O. Wolf Comments
According to Siegfried O. Wolf, experts voiced worry last week that terrorists may “seek more clandestine means for financing their activities.” The complicated payment mechanism used in the digital environment is a major dangerous scenario by many players involved in establishing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures.