The Internet Watch Foundation, a charity based in the UK which aims to remove child pornography from the Internet claims it has seen an up tick in child pornography websites that accept Bitcoin as payment.
To date, the IWF research group has found over 200 websites accepting Bitcoin of which 30 accept it as the only form of payment. Sarah Smith, one of the researchers at the IWF commented that “the emergence of bitcoins as payment for child sexual abuse represents the newest challenge in the fight” and that “this is just the beginning.”
John Shehan, who is the executive director of the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children believes that Bitcoin will allow commercial child sexual abuse operators to revitalise their payment stream.
Asked for comment, Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation stated that
"the people that do this stuff should burn in hell"
and they are working to stop Bitcoin from being used for illicit activity. He went on to say that it's
"naive to think bitcoin isn't being used for CP"
Sarah Smith has previously stated she loves her job and that it is the most rewarding work she has ever done but because the IWF is a self-appointed watch dog, this has left some people questioning the legality of the work undertaken at the IWF and if they are in a position to comment on Bitcoin at all.
European Police Office. ↩