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Criminals’ Choice for digital currency

Thursday 4 January 2018

A recent report suggests bitcoin is no longer the currency of choice for criminals.

According to the AFR, Europol said last year that Monero, Ethereum and ZCash are gaining traction with the underground.

Matt Suiche, from Dubai-based security firm, Comae Technologies, said Monero was one of the favourites when it comes to ransomware attacks.

Despite claims bitcoin’s anonymity can present a challenge to law enforcement, the underlying digital ledger technology (dlt), or the blockchain, still records any address that sends or receives transactions at the moment the transaction takes place.

The AFR reports some ‘sleuths’ have developed databases and techniques to analyse that information and find the wrong-doers.

Monero is different, however, in that it encrypts the recipient’s address on the blockchain and generates fake addresses or mixes addresses to obscure the real sender’s identity. 

Recently, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) extended their AML/CTF regime to cover bit digital currency exchanges and the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA) has been working with their members help them to build strong compliance frameworks to enhance regulatory certainty.

It will be interesting to see what impact Monero has on that regulatory certainty and what compliance frameworks digital currency exchanges will need to put in-place to ensure trust.