For the longest time, regulators make the argument that Bitcoin isn’t a good option as a currency mainly because of the lack of transparency and regulations that make it useful for illegal activities. However, things have changed over the last months. Bitcoin itself has been experiencing many issues. One of which is the increasing fees involved in the transaction.
Bitcoin in 2017 reached mainstream attention for good reasons. Bitcoin has even reached almost $20,000 in mid-December. And since then, 2018 was rough for Bitcoin and the rest of the other cryptocurrencies.
However, it isn’t just the price of Bitcoin that changed. The darknet’s preferred cryptocurrency has changed as well. What made the darknet criminals to go towards Bitcoin for years is its ability to provide privacy and anonymity. Unfortunately, with added regulations and with growing understanding of crypto forensics, things have already changed. And because of this, many believe that the darknet is slowly transitioning towards a different kind of cryptocurrency.
Litecoin and Dash Are the Next Best Option?
In a study made by Recorded Future, it seems that darknet criminals’ preference of cryptocurrency is now switching towards altcoins. One reason is because of the transaction fees that they incur when they use Bitcoin. In addition to this, many are getting concerned about the scrutiny that Bitcoin is having on the end of regulators.
Two of the most popular options include Dash and Litecoin. For experts, this move still doesn’t make much sense. For one, Litecoin, similar to Bitcoin, doesn’t allow you to have complete anonymity at this point. However, it may be because of the fast and cheap transactions that make it such a great option.
As for Dash, Dash also isn’t the perfect option to go for. This cryptocurrency provides a semi-centralized model and transactions can be analyzed. Despite the things that make Dash and Litecoin not the perfect alternative for Bitcoin, its use by criminals is on the rise regardless.
Andrei Barysevich and Alexandr Solad, the authors of the report mentioned that “The same class of power users who helped to establish bitcoin…across the dark web, spurring the underground economy and plaguing the world with never-ending ransomware attacks, illicit drugs, and weaponry, now see it as a roadblock to proliferating criminals”. This pertains to the use of Bitcoin to criminal activities.
They also added in their report that “Litecoin and Dash will take their place next to bitcoin as the everyday payment currencies of the dark web”.
How Did the Report Draw Its Conclusion?
There are some questions though when it comes to how the report was made. For instance, there is no darknet known right now that accepts Dash. The same goes for Litecoin.
Are they correct in their conclusions? Is it because Bitcoin has been getting so much attention from regulators that dark web activities are now shifting towards altcoins? Or is it mainly because of the fast transaction time and cheaper cost? In reality, it remains to be seen whether this report’s prediction is going to come true especially in the next months or so.