Europol: altcoins rise in popularity in criminal circles

Europol cyber-crime division released a report about alcoins slowly displacing Bitcoin as means of illicit activities' funding
28 February 2018   707

The rising popularity of cryptocurrencies and their anonymous nature couldn't have not attracted unsavory crowd. It's long been widely known that cryptocurrencies are used to purchase illegal goods and services, but previously investigatory attempts have been centered around the most popular crypto – Bitcoin. But the recent report by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, formerly known as the European Police Office and Drugs Unit (Europol), rises a valid point of criminal shifting to more private and less monitored coins.

Jarek Jacubchek, an analyst for Europol cyber-crime division, told in his interview to Business Insider, that now there is a distinct shift from Bitcoin to cryptocurrencies that provide higher level of privacy. Monero, Zcash and Dash were specifically mentioned by name for their throughout approach to security.

This trend is fueled by two factors. First – Bitcoin exchanges are coming under increased scrutiny and regulatory pressure to prevent money laundering. Know-your-client efforts practically universally adopted by know on governmental insistence. Second – Bitcoin is already widely regarded as one of the most popular means of funding illicit activities, so law enforcement agencies across the globe focus a lot of effort on improving ability to track BTC transfers and to connect specific transactions and wallets to individuals.

Still Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency not only among law-abiding citizens bu criminals as well. Not only popularity but also wider coverage and ease of transactions contributes to this state of affairs.

US Authorities to Sell $4.3M Worth Seized BTC

As reported, the Bitcoins were seized during different federal investigations
18 October 2018   82

The US Federal Penitentiary and Marshals Service has announced an auction, during which 660 Bitcoins will be sold, previously confiscated by law enforcement agencies. The current market value of the coins put up for sale is about $ 4.3 million, CoinDesk reports.

Bitcoins offered for sale were seized during federal criminal, civil and administrative investigations.

The auction will be held on November 5, and to participate in it, you must register no later than October 31 and make a deposit of $ 200,000.

The trades will be divided into two parts and include the sale of six blocks of 100 BTC and one more block of 60 BTC. Auction participants will not be able to view other people's rates or change their own.

The Office clarified that part of the assets put up for auction includes Bitcoins, which were seized during the recent investigations into the cases of the traders Teresa Tetley and Thomas Mario Costanzo. Teresa Tetley was sentenced in July to a year in prison on charges of trading in cryptocurrency without the necessary license and laundering money obtained from drug trafficking.

The Marshals do not report which part of the bitcoins seized from Tetley and Costanzo is put up for auction, however, it was previously known that 40 BTC were withdrawn from the first, and 80 BTC from the second.

Two previous major auctions for the sale of confiscated bitcoins were held in the United States in January and March of this year. In the first case, 3813 BTC was sold, in the second - 2170 BTC.