Europol search bitcoin evil

By Music Light | Crypto Taste | 6 Oct 2020


 

Mixing bitcoins: a puzzle for investigators


The European police authority Europol has just published a new report entitled "Assessing the threat posed by organized crime on the Internet".

As you might expect, there is a chapter devoted to cryptocurrencies, and the title is unequivocal:

“Cryptocurrencies facilitate payments for all forms of cybercrime. "

This sets the tone from the start, and the rest is just as accusing, especially for mixing services which allow bitcoin transactions to be mixed to make them difficult to track:

“(…) Wallets offering privacy protection services using 'coinjoin' concepts (eg Wasabi and Samurai wallets) have emerged as a major threat, in addition to well-established centralized mixers. "

Bitcoin loses ground on the darknet to anonymous cryptos


Europol recognizes, however, that criminal activity is now only a tiny fraction of transactions when compared to legitimate trade.

The report thus admits that, if before 2013 “criminal” transactions represented 20% of the total, in 2019 they only represented 1.1% of transactions on blockchains.

Another change noticed by the police department: while the dark web black markets relied almost exclusively on Bitcoin (BTC) until 2013, the offer has since diversified:v

 

 

 

“(…) In recent years the situation has changed. A growing number of markets have realized the benefit of offering several cryptocurrency alternatives, including Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC) and Dash (DASH). While bitcoin remains the most popular payment method (mainly for its wide adoption, reputation and ease of use), the use of anonymity-enhancing cryptos has increased (...). "

Thus, the increasingly popular cryptocurrencies on the darknet would be, in order, Monero, Zcash and Dash.
Europol recognizes that all of these cryptos can "constitute a considerable obstacle to law enforcement investigations".

 

The game of cat and mouse therefore continues unabated between the police and criminals, the latter exploiting all the tools allowing them to conceal their activities. Yet some do not consider anonymous cryptocurrency to be so evil, even in the case of money laundering.

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