Applying criminal law to the exchange of bitcoin on behalf of ransomware victims would create a morally shocking result of re-victimizing a victim. All lawfully operating digital currency exchanges would thereafter refuse to exchange bitcoin for ransomware victims for fear of criminal culpability.
Grief has similar side effects of alcohol consumption, such as numbness, guilt, and depression, resulting in less alert and price-sensitive customers. In addition, the funeral industry is somewhat taboo in the sense that communities in general don't communicate with one another about what are acceptable practices in this industry.
Bitcoin has been described as a decentralized, peer-to-peer virtual currency that is used like money - it can be exchanged for traditional currencies such as the U.S. dollar or used to purchase goods or services, usually online. Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoin operates without central authority or banks and is not backed by any government.
Exchanging bitcoin on behalf of ransomware victims should not be construed as criminal activity by the exchanger, not as a matter of law nor as sound policy. Such an interpretation would set a precedent that would surely cause real harm to the public, to the blockchain ecosystem, and to the financial services industry as a whole.
Through decentralized cryptography, Bitcoin eliminates the need for banking intermediaries, significantly lowering transaction costs, and could liberate poverty-stricken economies around the globe by providing access to capital to the one-third of humanity that is excluded from the financial world.