In a recent report titled “Internet Organised Crime Threat Assesment” (IOCTA), Europol concluded that Bitcoin remains crypto criminals’ favorite asset.
The report presents a detailed analysis of cybercrimes that happened during the past year. According to Europol’s data, illegal activities on the Dark Web generated more than $1 billion in value. A large percentage of these transactions were completed via Bitcoin.
Cyber and crypto criminals
The Dark Web is a notoriously criminal part of the Internet and an often chosen playground for cyber and crypto criminals.
Since the rise of Bitcoin as the most popular cryptocurrency out there, cybercriminals have started adopting it as a means of payment. Consequently, nowadays, many cybercriminals can be considered crypto criminals, as well.
While Bitcoin remains the most popular resource used on the Dark Web over the past several months, cybercriminals have started exploring other options.
Privacy-centric tokens like Monero or Zcash have started generating traction with cybercriminals. For example, Monero is used not only as a payment means but also as a means for illegal and hidden crypto mining.
This years’ Europol IOCTA reports that once again, cybercriminals are mostly interested in acquiring and trading data.
Personal information remains the most critical asset for criminals operating on the Dark Web. Considering this, blackmail and ransoms remain the top crimes happening in the online space.
In the report, Europol concludes that the task set before authorities is becoming harder by the day, as technology advances. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain encryption have a significant role to play in that, as they inhibit investigators from accessing vital information to further their work.
In conclusion, the IOCTA report states that cybercrime should be addressed in a wholesome manner, which incorporates measures across all areas of illegal activity.