What makes the potential and future of a cryptocurrency is often its use. The more a cryptocurrency is used, the more likely it is to acquire value and continue.
But in the case of virtual currencies, another point may be essential: confidentiality. And not always for the right reasons.
This is the case of Monero for example, who is replacing Bitcoin with the world of crime.
Cybercriminals go to Monero
First of all, what cybercriminals are looking for is, above all, anonymity.
Or Bitcoin no longer has the same confidentiality it had at the beginning. Because enforcement agencies have developed tools to help track transactions. This is not doing too much business criminals, they have now turned to other crypto currencies. Among them, Ethereum, Zcash and Monero.
Just take for example the last cyber attack of December 18th. The cybercriminals attacked 190000 sites to collect a ransom required in Monero.
This is probably why the value of Monero has quadrupled: companies have to buy them to pay the ransoms demanded by cybercriminals.
How does Monero work?
Monero is a cryptocurrency that was launched in 2014. It works a bit differently from Bitcoin. Because it encrypts the recipient’s addresses in the Blockchain, then generates false addresses to hide their true identity. The amounts are also encrypted.
Nevertheless, this is a disadvantage. Because the software supposed to detect the currencies bought for criminal purposes, mark all the Monero transactions against 10% for Bitcoin.
Another currency in vogue among criminals: Zcash
Another currency used for criminal purposes is the Zcash.
It is less popular than its competitor Monero although more able to protect the confidentiality of transactions.
Its operation is different from that of Monero: instead of generating false addresses, Zcash technology encrypts the real address.
It is therefore impossible to identify the senders.
While for Monero we can match the address used in a number of transactions to identify the sender. Which obviously represents a weak point for crypto currency.
Monero denies being the currency of illegal activities
Yet Monero denies being the currency of illegal activities.
Its developers explain that this concern of confidentiality, allows him to be used for legal activities.
Riccardo Spani, one of the cryptocurrency developers says:
“As a community, we do not encourage the use of Monero for crimes. But he continues, at the same time, it is impossible to prevent the use of money. I guess Monero offers criminals multiple benefits on Bitcoin. So they prefer it. “
One of the major analysts at Digital Asset shares the same opinion and he believes that criminals represent only a fraction of the users of this currency. He explains: “These currencies have a purpose, beyond their use as a means of financing illegal activities.”
Nevertheless, the results of a survey of 500 companies in the United Kingdom are quite worrying: 50% of companies recently bought 23 Bitcoins for ransom payments.
For all these reasons, the European Union is promising legislation on digital currencies to reduce cases of theft and the financing of terrorism.