In the United States particularly, cryptocurrency has become a left vs right political issue. However, right-wing extremists seem to have taken it to the next level, with some prominent figures declaring Bitcoin as the currency of the alt-right. Analytics firm Elliptic has found that cryptocurrency use among far-right extremists has grown tremendously, and these same groups have been the most vocal for a censorship-free crypto ecosystem.
If the trend continues, the worst hit will be regular investors who do not associate themselves with political extremism. Many countries will use it as a reason behind banning (or severely regulating) cryptocurrencies, a trend we already see in the United States, among others.
Cryptocurrency and crime have been intrinsically linked for a long time, and many criminals have openly admitted to using cryptocurrency. Following the Charlottesville incident, PayPal banned far-right extremists from using the platform. We can expect some cryptocurrency exchanges to do the same, but the effect will be negligible, to say the least.
Cryptocurrency works in a different model that values anonymity in order to space surveillance. That makes it a slippery slope since criminals also escape surveillance.
Be it religious extremists or political extremism, cryptocurrencies have been used to fuel both. Many countries require crypto exchanges to follow strict laws against Terrorism Financing to continue operations. That, in turn, reduces their autonomy and increases accountability to the government. Elliptic’s recent report is a matter of concern for the crypto community, and there is no possible way out apart from heavy regulations as of now