Criminals choosing cryptocurrencies like Monero, ZCash and Dash over Bitcoin, Europol warns


Bitcoin became famous because it was used to buy drugs and other illegal products. But the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency is simply too pricey for modern criminals and doesn’t allow them to cover their tracks adequately. Now crooks are starting to use ‘alt-coins’ such as Monero, ZCash and Dash which offer greater anonymity. Jarek Jacubchek, a cybercrime expert at Europol, told Business Insider: ‘We can see a quite obvious and distinct shift from bitcoin to cryptocurrencies that can provide a higher level of privacy. ‘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 mxing process that is part of the protocol.’ One Bitcoin is worth about $10,420 at the time of writing (Chart: Coindesk) Bitcoin customers can already ‘mix’ their virtual coins using a ‘tumbler service’ which makes it harder to trace the source of the digital dosh. Monero is focused on privacy by obscuring the identity of the people making and receiving payments. Dash, which was once called Darkcoin, is based on LiteCoin but offers users more privacy whilst Zcash allows traders to ensure their transactions are put into ‘shielded’ mode to guard their identity.


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