Europol Warns about Rising Altcoins Use in Cybercrime


Europol warns about rising altcoins use in cybercrime, adding that the modern cybercriminals are becoming better at hiding their tracks. They do so by choosing some of the more privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, such as ZCash, Dash, and Monero.

28 February, AtoZForex – The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has notified the investors’ community about the rising cybercrime risks in the industry. The agency has noted that the modern cybercriminals are becoming better at hiding their tracks. They do so by choosing some of the more privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, such as ZCash, Dash, and Monero.

Europol Warns about Rising Altcoins Use in Cybercrime

Jarek Jacubchek, a cybercrime analyst with Europol, has stated that the agency has spotted a “distinct shift” from Bitcoin to altcoins that provide better privacy. He has added:

“So basically, you can achieve a higher level of privacy using these ‘altcoins’, and these altcoins are either using stealth as the basis, like monero.

There are also coins like dash that do not have stealth addresses, they have transparent addresses, but they have a mixing process that is part of the protocol.”

In the meantime, Mr. Jacubchek has highlighted that the use of cryptocurrency is not essentially criminal. However, the more anonymous coins are more prone to be used for the criminal activities. Nevertheless, he stated that it is still much easier to use Bitcoin due to the fact that it enjoys more support from the industry.

Cybercriminals are getting savvier

While some part of the world’s population believes that Bitcoin is anonymous, it is, in fact, not. It is pseudonymous, which means that the publicly available transaction track is connected to a real identity. However, some of the criminals still choose to use Bitcoin for their activities. Thus, they are leaving a digital paper trail, which afterward serves as a good track for police.

Therefore, Mr. Jacubchek has stated that the fact that criminals are switching to more anonymized coins means that they are becoming savvier.

Still, the use of the cryptocurrencies for the illegal activities is just a small drop in the ocean. The report from the European Commission from 2017 states that some criminals might be considering to cover their tracks with cryptocurrencies. However, “the use of virtual currencies requires technical expertise which makes it less attractive.”

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