It is a well-documented fact that blockchain technology can be used to achieve a lot of good in the world, whether this is done through cryptocurrency, its most famous products creating an avenue for people to pay for goods and services as well as an investment tool as well as the use of the technology and its pure form to foster commerce, education, healthcare and so on. However, like all things that can be used for good, blockchain can be applied for a number of illegal and immoral purposes such as the use of cryptocurrency over the Internet to extort others and for criminal activities.
It would seem the members of the Islamic State in Syria, popularly known as ISIS, have turned to a blockchain-based messaging app to spread the propaganda and content with their members. The app in question is called BCM and has seen a spike in usage among the terrorist organization members according to a recent December 13, 2019 report by vice.
ISIS and Blockchain
It should be noted that BCM is not a messaging app created for the specific purpose of spreading terrorist propaganda but has merely been co-opted by the organization.
“Our goal is to provide the most secure channel of communication and to safeguard the freedom of digital communication of our users, as we firmly believe that it is the cornerstone of any modern democratic society,” their spokesperson stated.
This is not the first time that ISIS is making use of social media in order to spread the message as back in 2014, it was reported that a part of their rise was owed to the use of social media platforms such as Facebook Twitter and YouTube. However, all platforms have taken action to prevent ISIS from being able to publish their propaganda on them.
Following this, they turned their attention to Telegram and tried to use the messaging platform to spread their message in order to “communicate with like-minded supporters across the world, disseminate official and unofficial (ISIS) media, and provide instructional material for operations.”. However, Telegram took action against them and by May 2019, had banned 8,291 terrorist bots from the platform and as such, Isis has turned their attention to other messaging platforms, including BCM.