U.S. Government Buying Bitcoin to Pay Ransomware Attackers?

• Fox News host Tucker Carlson speculated that the recent bullish market moves of Bitcoin were due to the U.S. government buying Bitcoin to pay ransomware attackers.
• On Jan. 11, the FAA halted nationwide departures, delaying thousands of flights, due to a “computer outage”.
• Almost three weeks into the new year, the leading cryptocurrency has recorded a 29% growth in price.

The recent bullish market moves of Bitcoin have been the subject of much speculation, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson is the latest to join the fray. On his show, Carlson suggested that the U.S. government may have been forced to buy Bitcoin to pay cyber attackers to release control of U.S. airspace.

The speculation comes on the heels of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) halting nationwide departures on Jan. 11, delaying thousands of flights, due to a “computer outage”. According to the transportation agency, this was due to a technical issue with the Notice to Air Missions system (NOTAM). However, Carlson postulated that the “outage” was actually a cyber attack and that “almost all ransoms like this are paid in Bitcoin”.

Furthermore, Carlson noted similar “outages” had occurred in Canada and the Philipines, lending further credence to his theory. On the day U.S. flights were grounded, BTC posted a significant 4% upswing to close the day at $17,930.

Almost three weeks into the new year, the leading cryptocurrency has recorded a 29% growth in price. This is particularly noteworthy given the broader macro uncertainty that currently reigns.

While there is no concrete evidence that the U.S. government bought Bitcoin to pay ransomware attackers, Carlson’s speculation points to the potential that the digital currency could be used in this manner in the future. As such, it will be interesting to see if other governments follow suit in the coming months and years.