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  • Europol sees Bitcoin as the may digital asset used by criminals.
  • The popularity of privacy-focused altcoins is growing.  

Despite the growing diversity of cryptocurrency assets, cybercriminals still prefer bitcoin, according to the recent report on «Internet Organized Crime Threats Assessment (IOCTA) » published by Europol.

«The currency of the dark web enterprises remains virtual and an estimated USD 1 billion has been spent on the dark web this year alone. Bitcoin remains the most frequently used currency, believed to be a consequence of familiarity within the customer base (see also section 9.4), » the report states.

Despite a pronounced shift towards privacy-focused coins such as Monero and Zcash, Bitcoin is still the number one choice for legal activities.  

Notably, this time the Europol experts mentioned only Monero that is also actively used in Darkweb/ Apart from trading illegal goods for Monero, criminals tend to use this coin for hidden mining. The techniques applied by criminals, exploit a victim’s processing power without their permission to mine cryptocurrencies “” typically Monero.  

Though this trend has been slowing down recently.

«The size of this surge varies wildly across industry reporting but the veracity of the trend is almost unanimous. Some reports also attribute the decline in ransomware to attackers shifting to stealthier cryptojacking attacks. »