Bitcoin went through a whirlwind year in 2017, unsurprisingly to some. The cryptocurrency managed to garner such popularity and fame that by the end of the year everyone was talking about it. From presidents, to finance ministers, banks, average citizen and banks were all talking about it. Cybercriminals found a new job to do, which is to steal bitcoin from people. However, after gaining so much support from people, the Bitcoin cryptocurrency is now being disavowed by the criminal world. Most of the cyber attackers are leaving bitcoin as they look for other cryptocurrencies which are more secretive and can better conceal their illegal activities. This phenomenon can be used to explain the rise in altcoin over the past few months.
Privacy coins such as Monero have been gaining ground over the past few months. These privacy coins currencies are designed to avoid any sort of tracking and have seen a steady rise. Reports indicate that these alternatives have gained a foothold in the market. This is in part because the authorities have been looking at ways they can better regulate bitcoin and its users. Analytical firms have also gotten better at detecting any illegal activities on their platforms before the cyber attackers can change the money into fiat money.
Several privacy coins have been flagged by Europol recently as they are deemed a breeding ground for illegal activities. The European Union law enforcement agency released a report which outlined that cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Ethereum and Zcash were gaining a foothold in the digital underground world.
Analysts believe that Monero has now turned into one of the most popular currencies which is asked for in ransomware attacks. Monero has some advanced encryption techniques on its platform hence the popularity amongst criminals. The encryption technique can allow for the fake generation of addresses, thereby hiding the real senders’ information. It also allows for obscuration of the amount that is transferred. Bitcoin, however, records all the data that is needed and involved in a transaction.
What experts think about Zcash
Experts also believe that Zcash gives even better security. Zcash is believed to obscure the address of the sender instead of just generating a fake one. Therefore surveillance technology is impossible to implement in such cases. Both Monero and Zcash have now grown to become multi-billion dollar cryptocurrencies with no sign of them stopping anytime soon. Monero is ranked 12th by market cap alone, with a value of $6.3 billion. Zcash is at 29th with a value of $1.7 billion. Their daily turnover is well into the hundreds of millions.
Monero developers commented that they intended to safeguard privacy when they were making it. Naturally, this would also help criminals with their activities. Core developer, Riccardo Spagni, said that as a community they did not condone the use of Monero by criminals. However, decentralized currencies are hard to prevent people from using them he said.