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.