Cybersecurity Expert Says Bitcoin Has Solved The Biggest Problem Criminals Had
Bitcoin’s popularity in dark net markets has been on the rise despite efforts by regulators to shut down these platforms. Menny Barzillay, a well known reputable cyber security expert, has reiterated that BTC’s duplication of cold hard money poses a huge crime threat. He said,
“Bitcoin is like cash money that you can actually send over the internet and this is one of the strongest drivers for crime today.”
The leading crypto gained traction as a facilitator of illegal activities during the Silk Road black market booming days. Since then, it has been an upward trend in adoption especially within the online black markets. Data from Chainalysis shows that Bitcoin’s use in illegal businesses was up by close to 60% within the last quarter of 2019.
Why BTC over Private Coins?
Given the anonymous nature of private coins like Monero (XMR); one would expect them to dominate black markets but Bitcoin has clearly taken the day. Could this be a case of first mover advantage or Bitcoin simply cuts it for the bad guys?
For starters, Bitcoin’s popularity on Silk Road gave the pioneer crypto coin an advantage and was eventually recognized as digital currency ‘standard’. New market entrants seeking anonymity have therefore settled for Bitcoin as it fulfills the market needs while maintaining a more stable and liquid position in the larger crypto market.
Basically, Bitcoin’s blockchain ecosystem has managed to monetize illegal operations that involve cash settlements. At the moment, the existing illegal avenues leveraging BTC are still under the radar of regulators but this might soon change with Bitcoins’ historical transactions data from firms like Chainalysis.
The Reputational Risk on Crypto Markets
Bitcoin’s use in black markets might be a short term solution for illegal players but may not last long. This is because the coin’s reputation towards significant stakeholders like regulators will drop and eventually hinder mass adoption.
The future of cryptocurrencies might be bright or dark depending on how they best serve existing market niches. One thing is already evident though; digital currencies pose both huge opportunities and threats to the world’s current financial order.