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Europol report: criminals choose Bitcoin, terrorists choose Zcash – Live Coin Watch

The latest report by Europol, entitled Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), indicates that Bitcoin remains the cryptocurrency favored by cybercriminals, but terrorist groups such as ISIS are moving towards more anonymous cryptocurrencies, such as Zcash.

Cybercriminals and Bitcoin [19659003] According to the report, transmitted by The Next Web, cybercriminals still prefer Bitcoin, despite its relative lack of anonymity, probably due to the ease of liquidity and acceptance all over the world. Although criminals prefer to avoid the KYC / AML requirements of most mainstream exchanges, Bitcoin can be spent quite easily on the Dark Web. The last CTOI noted:

"The abuse of cryptocurrencies by of cybercriminals continues to play a key role in the commission, perpetration and monetization of cybercrime … … remain the main payment mechanism for the payment of criminal services, a plethora of goods on the Darknet markets and for extortion requests, both as result of ransomware, DDoS attacks, or other methods. "

Europol also noted the increase in phishing attacks that direct newcomers to the world of cryptocurrency who are still learning the ropes. Scams like fake Twitter accounts that promise "ETH Giveaways" could fool the unwary and non-employees to give up their sweaty possessions of cryptocurrencies.

Cryptojacking is also on the rise. Although cryptojacking uses malware essentially to exploit the computing power for mining cryptocurrency, it is not technically illegal. However, the Europol report indicates that regulators and order forces are becoming increasingly aware of it, so the legality of encryption may not last long

Europol experts predict that cybercriminals will begin to drive Bitcoin away for more anonymous cryptocurrencies. This shift could be predicted by an increase in extortion and ransomware requests. This will probably not go well with coin holders like Monero and Zcash who may not use them for illegal activities but may occasionally want to indulge in products and services that they do not want to show on a credit card account. [19659002] Terrorists who use Zcash

The anonymous nature of Zcash has been particularly attractive to terrorist groups such as ISIS. Zcash was used to finance the acquisition of domain names by ISIS, for example. However, Europol says it can not prove that ISIS has ever used Zcash to fund terrorist attacks on European soil.

Europol recommended an interesting tactic to help fight the use of cryptocurrencies to fund terrorism:

"Investigators should identify and build trust relationships with any cryptocurrency firm that operates in their jurisdiction, such as exchangers, mining pools or portfolio operators … Investigating cryptocurrencies must become a fundamental skill for cybercrime investigators. "

This is a departure from the usual regulatory attitude that exchanges, together with other companies operating in the financial sector, have full responsibility for knowing who their customers are (KYC).

Cryptocurrency insiders have become accustomed to the idea that regulators see them as bad actors even when they are not spending their cryptography on something blatantly illegal or immoral. Insiders who are also entrepreneurs may refuse to cooperate with Europol investigations if they have reason to believe that cooperation is not in their interest

This means that Europol could face the hard battle of convincing companies in the cryptic industry that his investigators are not "They are there to make their operations more expensive than they are already." If those investigators do not learn to ignore the occasional irregularities between these companies, then they may not make much progress in dealing with crime problems. computer science and terrorist activities that make good use of crypto and blockchain technologies.

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