In 2013, there was a first scandal involving the use of cryptocurrency by cybercriminals. Then closed the popular bitcoin-market Silkroad, and its founder Ross Ulbricht was detained in the United States on charges of drug trafficking. This event has raised doubts about the legality of the Internet currency turnover.
During 2014-2015, a series of interesting studies was conducted, during which it was found that every day the average turnover of money in the shadow market is half a million dollars, which is almost $ 180 million a year.
After that, the closest online market for the Sheep Marketplace was the loudest. Its founder brought about 40 million dollars from the resource. However, even after such loud scandals, the number of users of the outlets, such as DarkNet, Darkleaks and others, has not diminished.
But before that, in the crypto sphere there were ordinary robberies. So, MtGox, a well-known virtual exchange, was packed as a result of a hacking attack in 2011. Next time, hackers were so insolent that in 2014 they removed about 480 million dollars from this resource.
Also, BTC actively uses and “air sellers” – the construction of charismatic financial projects in the virtual space. For example, MyCoin’s pseudo-grader positioned itself as a serious and reliable resource for professional uncle-shopkeepers. Like other similar projects, this resource promised huge profits. A lot of users went to the proposal of mischievers and invested several millions of dollars into the Internet project, after which in early 2015 criminals took away all the supplies and disappeared as pairs in the air.
Analogue of bitcoin
Recently, Recorded Future (an American cyber security company working with CIA and Google) has provided the following data after research of hundreds of most popular illegal services and trading platforms:
“Contrary to the growing dissatisfaction with the bitcoins, it remains the gold standard in the black market, and is accepted for payment by almost everyone. The second place is Litecoin – it is accepted by 30% of sellers. ”
There are some details of Recorded Future research:
Due to the increased attention to bitcoins in 2017, Bitcoin network began to work slower, and commissions grew, which made bitcoins lose their positions among black market users. Litecoin has become a good alternative, since its technology is almost identical to bitcoins, but the transaction speed is higher, and the commission is lower. However, like its elder brother, Litecoin can not boast a high level of security and anonymity.
Other currencies that are also actively used in the market are DASH, Ethereum and Monero.
What attracts the black market?
Information about each participant is encrypted. As a result, all transactions on the network are transparent to the public register, and users can remain unidentified before employees of special departments.
It is impossible to access shadow resources using a regular browser. To do this, you need to use special software. It also complicates the search for intruders for agents of special services.
Weak security infrastructure
Many people are careless about the funds saved on their online accounts because of numerous assurances about the full security of the services.
Some experts believe that in the near future, many shadow structures and projects will have to abandon bitcoins as a means of payment. Users are interested in the integrity and reliability of transactions performed and do not want to get into rogue fishing rods. That type of Internet money will have to come out of the shadows and obey the lawful conditions of circulation. Already today, on the amateur initiative, numerous white and black lists of operations are created, made from cryptography. This can mean both the beginning of the end of the outlets and the search for new opportunities for committing criminal operations.
Also, the popularity of Litecoin does not mean that it completely replace the bitcoins. Many researchers expect bitcoin to remain one of the main payment instruments, although its market share will decline significantly.