As Germany is trying to cope with the latest terrorist attack, a suicide bombing in Ansbach, the possible implications of a previous incident are only starting to form. Numerous media reports in the German media are linking Bitcoin to the Munich shooting which might lead to a further crackdown on cryptocurrency use by European governments.
Apparently the consensus is that the shooter must have illegally acquired the gun on the Darknet and many of the German newspapers that reported it specifically mentioned Bitcoin as the preferred payment method of users on the clandestine network. Needless to say, this is all despite the fact that the investigation is far from over.
While the immediate reactions by German politicians were mainly calls to increase the toughness of the country’s strict anti-gun ownership laws, demands for a clampdown on anonymous online transactions with cryptocurrency can’t be far behind considering that the media is tying it with the rising threat of terrorism. European regulators have already had bitcoin in their sights for a long time, linking it to terror financing, drug trafficking, tax avoidance and other nefarious ventures.
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We last saw this play out following the Paris attacks which led to demands to further curtail anonymity on European cryptocurrency exchanges, despite no evidence that it was related to the event in any way. Now, when bitcoin is seen as the most likely method to have been actually used by a mass murderer for the purchase of a weapon, European authorities will have all the legitimacy and urgency to act against it.