One of the things that made cryptocurrencies stand out is the fact that it initially offered privacy. However, given illicit activities including money laundering, cryptocurrency forensics is now a reality. In addition to this, there are countries wherein anonymity is no longer an option.
That’s where Monero enters the picture. Monero has an excellent reputation when it comes to its privacy. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Monero has at least three techniques in order to protect the user’s privacy. First, ring signature allows the sender’s identity to be discussed. Stealth addresses will also hide the recipient at the other end of the transaction. And third, the blockchain also hides the amount of the transaction that is being made.
And for this reason, it looks like it is going to be worth $1,000 for this year. Non-traditional currencies are now becoming on Monero mainly because of its privacy feature.
Used in the Dark Web
Unfortunately, Monero gained the reputation that it is the favorite cryptocurrency in the dark web. It is also used by criminals. But of course, for those who believe in Monero’s capability, you can’t judge it to the character of its users. What it offers is a great tool for users who don’t trust third parties.
The current market cap for Monero is at $5.8 billion. During the first week of March, Monero was traded at around $218 million.
Interest of Neo-Nazis on Monero
The only problem with Monero is that groups such as Neo-Nazis are interested in using the cryptocurrency mainly because of its privacy features. According to the Nordiska Motstandsrorelsen’s website, a Neo-Nazi group that has a presence in Finland, Norway, and Sweden, it reads “Donate CPU time to the Nordic resistance movement”.
Simply by running a page from the website on their browser, it becomes possible to mine Monero. It is just the same was as criminals hijacking websites in order to generate cryptocurrencies. But aside from mining, supporters can also donate Monero to the website just by scanning QR code.
According to Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, a notorious Neo-Nazi figure, he mentioned that “a number of people in the alt-right have found that their Coinbase account has been suspended for donating money”.
Is It Really Private?
But is it really private to the point that it is untraceable? It isn’t exactly the case. The transfer of fund from Bitcoin into Monero can be traced. Just last December, John Bambenek, the VP of Security Research and Intelligence at ThreatSTOP, responsible for tracing neo-Nazi bitcoin, was able to publish a partial list of Weev’s Monero deposits. Bambenek also tweeted a screenshot that he was banned from Weev’s subreddit after sharing the list there.
And it doesn’t end there for Bambenek’s mission to expose white supremacists. He is also now trying to track down one of the largest funders of the Daily Stormer, which is a white supremacist website. The Daily Stormer has a Monero donation address that users can go to.
However, Bambenek declined to describe his methodologies when it comes to tracking down Monero deposits of neo-Nazis.