Monero emerging as top crypto choice of cybercriminals

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s successful breach of a crypto wallet that was held by Colonial Pipeline hackers made possible by following a money trail on bitcoin’s blockchain proved to cybercriminals that transacting in cryptocurrency won’t offer them protection from scrutiny.

For the uninitiated, one of the core principles of bitcoin is that its public ledger that stores all token transactions in its history is public and visible to everyone. That is the main reason why more hackers prefer to transact through coins like dash, zcash and monero which offer additional anonymity.

In fact, monero is slowly becoming the crypto choice for the world’s top ransomware criminals. Cyber threat intelligence company Digital Shadows Chief Information Security Officer Rick Holland said, “The more savvy criminals are using monero.”

Monero 101

Released in 2014, monero is a cryptocurrency that was conceptualized by a consortium of developers, many of whom chose to remain anonymous. It claimed privacy and anonymity as its most important aspects as a digital currency.

It has its own blockchain where it operates, hiding all transaction details and identities of senders and recipients, as well as the amount involved, which are all disguised.

With these “anonymity features,” the crypto gives cybercriminals greater freedom, staying away and safe from some of the tracking tools and mechanisms that the bitcoin blockchain offers.

Setbacks with monero

As for the concern of making monero a mainstream digital asset, there are few major barriers that need to be punched through first.

One is that it is not as liquid as other cryptocurrencies and many regulated exchanges have decided not to have it listed because of regulatory concerns.

Quantum Economics founder and portfolio manager Mati Greenspan said, “It certainly isn’t enjoying as much from the recent wave of institutional investments,” meaning it will be harder for cybercriminals to get paid directly in the currency.

 

Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube

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