As expected, Bitcoin is still the most used cryptocurrency on the dark web. But there are better alternatives like Monero. And people are starting to realize that.
It’s funny how easy it is to think that cryptocurrencies and the dark web are a match made in heaven.
Although crypto has major applications besides the illegal market, I can’t deny that it does make cybercriminals more sneaky.
According to a study by Chainalysis, $790 million worth of cryptocurrencies were used to shop in darknet markets in 2019.
What percent of Bitcoin transactions are illegal?
Most likely less than 1 percent. Although, an Australian study gives a contradicting result, stating that illegal Bitcoin activity goes as high as 44 percent.
But that is unlikely to be accurate, given the near mainstream popularity of the digital currency. There have to be more people using it for non-darknet transactions.
Besides, it was conducted by two PhD holders and a weirdo. I trust Chainalysis more.
Anyway, only 0.8% share of the total crypto transactions were spent on the darknet in 2019. In my opinion, it’s not much, considering criminals are usually smarter than the general population.
Don’t roll your eyes. You know it’s true.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Criminals use phones too yet nobody demonizes phones for that reason alone.
Cryptocurrencies are simply awesome! More than any national currency. That’s why people who understand their power use them to their advantage. And that includes criminals.
Criminals are quick to catch on. As soon as they recognize the potential, they use it.
Cryptocurrencies enable them to do business in the dark web securely and anonymously. And cybercriminals exploit that.
So what crypto is used on the dark web?
Bitcoin is not the most private cryptocurrency available. In fact, it’s probably the top 2 least privacy-focused coins on this list.
It is not 100% anonymous. But rather, it is pseudonymous.
Your Bitcoin public address could potentially be linked back to your IP address or exchange account.
With that being said, how much Bitcoin is used on the dark web?
Well, these days it’s hard to determine. All we know is that Bitcoin still holds the majority share of crypto transactions (or all monetary transactions for that matter) in the darknet.
But to put things in perspective, the infamous Silk Road marketplace had over 9 million Bitcoins seized by the FBI. And that was only for 2 years of activity. That says a lot.
Now you might be thinking, why is Bitcoin used for illegal purchases if it isn’t truly anonymous?
Well, my friend, there is a way to unlink your IP address from your Bitcoin address. There are many other ways to protect your privacy as well.
As long as you got the techie know-how, you’ll be able to use Bitcoin anonymously especially in the dark web.
The best privacy coin in the world! That’s what Monero is. This isn’t financial advice, by the way. It’s just an opinion.
But seriously, Monero has the most robust privacy features among all cryptocurrencies to date. No surprise that it is number 2. I’m surprised it’s not number 1.
Monero uses three brilliant concealment and misdirection mechanisms: Ring Signature, Stealth Address, and RingCT. They are top of the line in terms of privacy.
But that’s a topic for another blog post.
Anyway, according to Chainalysis, Monero is the second most popular cryptocurrency in the dark web.
This was validated by a Dark Web poll done by Recorded Future.
This one came as a surprise to me. After all, Litecoin does not offer any privacy features and is less popular than Bitcoin.
Yet, it is the second most accepted currency on the darknet. Not “most used” or “most popular”, by the way. But it is favored by many dark markets and dealers.
I guess the only advantage Litecoin has is that it is more lightweight, and consequently faster. It also has lower transaction fees.
According to Recorded Future, 30 percent of darknet vendors accept Litecoin. They say it is favored by Russians due to its accessibility and convenience.
Dash is another privacy coin, although not my favorite to be honest. However, it is a great cryptocurrency in its own right. It incorporates masternodes, which allow you to earn passive income.
It is also the third most accepted cryptocurrency in the darknet, next to Litecoin.
Dash is especially popular to dark web users from the US. And, it might have something to do with some dealers migrating their Bitcoin to Dash that caused its rampant usage. At least that’s what one active member of a drug forum said.
You know what really breaks my heart? Not drug markets. Child porn. It breaks my heart because a.) those poor kids and b.) cryptocurrencies help criminals sell them on the dark web.
It’s awful. Gosh! It’s completely awful.
But on second thought, I know crypto has no ill intentions.
It’s the people that use it that choose to do bad things. Crypto is neutral. It’s simply a tool.
A knife can cut your throat but you can also use it to slice bread and make a turkey sandwich.
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