A recent Europol report claims that most users of the dark web still prefer to use BTC to other cryptocurrencies. However, the report noted that those who wish to cover their activities are slowly turning to privacy coins.
The report said that while Europol had seen a small shift to privacy-focused coins such as Monero, most crypto users on the dark web still preferred to use BTC for both illegal and legitimate transactions. These findings were from a study on organized crime on the internet.
According to the report, the reason most people still use BTC is due to its familiarity and prevalence in the underground economy, especially dark web markets. The report noted that BTC was especially popular with ransomware attacks, which usually ask for payment in BTC almost exclusively. According to Europol, these have been the most prominent crimes that it deals with.
Most ransomware attacks are usually quite simple. All it takes is one click on the wrong link and all the files on a hard drive become encrypted. A message usually pops up with a BTC address where users are supposed to deposit BTC. However, authorities have warned people not to send funds since there is no assurance they will get their hard drive restored.
The report did note that there was a growing shift towards the use of privacy coins. It added that it expected the trend to continue as criminals become more aware of their privacy online. For instance, the report noted that some dark web marketplaces were accepting privacy-focused coins such as Monero exclusively.