Bitcoin is still very much the dark web‘s favorite cryptocurrency, but those looking to cover their tracks are slowly learning to use privacy-focused alternatives.
“While we have previously reported a small shift towards more privacy-focused cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Bitcoin still remains the currency of choice for both legitimate and criminal use,” reports Europol with its latest assessment of internet-based organised crime.
Europol notes that Bitcoin‘s prevalence in the underground economy is a consequence of its familiarity within the customer base, particularly in dark web markets.
In particular, ransomware campaigns have continued to feature Bitcoin almost exclusively. Europol highlighted these attacks as the most prominent cybercrime it tackles.
Still, authorities say there has been a more “pronounced shift” towards more privacy-orientated cryptocurrencies, and expects this trend to continue as criminals become more security aware.
“The main developments regarding this trend are on the Darknet [sic] markets, several of which also accept Monero, or in some cases exclusively trade in it,” Europol added.
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