Europol Report Claims Privacy-Focused Coins To Dethrone Bitcoin As Preferred Currency For Cybercriminals
A recent report by Europol has indicated that even though Bitcoin still remains the preferred cryptocurrency used by cybercriminals, the trend might shift towards privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Zcas and Monero.
A recent report by Europol has indicated that even though Bitcoin still remains the preferred cryptocurrency used by cybercriminals, the trend might shift towards privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Zcash and Monero.
Bitcoin still remains the preferred crypto despite a market share drop
In a report titled Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), which is the fifth edition by published by Europol on September 18, stated that privacy cryptocurrencies such as Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR) remain widely used to commit cybercrime.
The report revealed that the market share of Bitcoin in the cybercrime world has dropped to 35% since the start of 2017. However, this hasn’t threated its place as the leading crypto used by cybercrimes.
Bitcoin has stood out more often than any other cryptocurrency in investigations conducted by authorities in Europe.
Its position is, however, under threat, with anonymous cryptocurrencies slowly emerging as better options for cybercriminals. This is because those altcoins offer strong privacy features such as stealth addresses, which has made it harder for authorities to keep track of money transfers.
The European police revealed that Zcash has become very popular amongst the Jihadist as they use the cryptocurrency in receiving mass donations via their affiliated websites. Despite this traction, cryptocurrencies have not been used majorly by terrorists.
Cryptocurrencies have not funded any terror attacks in Europe
The agency noted that so far, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have not been used to sponsor any terror attack on the continent.
Some sympathizing terrorist groups have been able to solicit and gather funds via Bitcoin and other cryptos in the past, however, the funds have so far been used to finance their online infrastructure and to purchase hosting servers.
The report stated that despite the clear potential, terrorists have not carried out an attack in Europe that has been funded by cryptocurrencies. Cryptos have so far only been used in low-level transactions.
The main source of funding for Jihadist groups still remains conventional banking and money remittance services.
Exchanges are soft targets
The report also touched on other areas of cybercrime such as cryptojacking, crypto-targeted phishing, and hacking.
Cryptocurrency exchanges have been the target of hackers over the past few months and Europol has described them as soft targets for hackers compared to traditional banks and institutions.
Exchanges aren’t the only ones facing this danger, with other crypto-related companies like mining companies and wallet holders also becoming common targets for hackers.
Even though the criminal abuse of cryptocurrencies is mostly relegated to the cybercrime world, some countries in the EU reported that they have started recording more incidents of cryptocurrency use by traditional criminals.