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Monero (XMR) and the Darkweb: An unsurprising relationship?

By Luke Flowers – Wallet Specialist

Blockchain, cryptocurrency trading, privacy and the dark web: you may hear these phrases all within the same conversation, but it must be noted where these topics do complement each other and where they do not. 

While legislative regulation is addressing the market, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, (Europol) highlights privacy-enhancing cryptocurrencies and wallet services as the ‘top threats’ and biggest challenges in the space. The organization also notes that Monero (XMR) is one of the most popular coins for completing transactions on the Darkweb, closely followed by Zcash and Dash.

Privacy enhancing cryptocurrencies are the most established transaction methods on the Darkweb

The 2020 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment report was issued by Europol earlier this year. The body also goes on to address other privacy wallet features such as ‘coin-mixing.’ Samourai and Wasabi are two platforms that offer this privacy service and are considered the top centralized coin mixers. The report flags ‘administrators of underground markets’ who are enabling and integrating these wallet services into the ecosystem.

The same agency detailed its observations, addressing that people would buy Bitcoin (BTC) and that it was initially used for online unlawful transactions. Over the years, as the blockchain space has evolved, cybercrime focus has shifted to other digital privacy assets as more people buy altcoins, including Zcash, Dash, Monero and even Litecoin. They go on to acknowledge that "Although Bitcoin appears the most common payment system’, noting this is mainly due to its age and credibility, the use of privacy-enhanced cryptocurrencies such as Monero in particular ‘has risen considerably.’

Monero has also remained on the radar of other organizations. Last week, Blockchain Development Firm Chainalysis earned a $625,000 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deal to manage XMR transactions. This article's publication has not influenced Monero’s price, as the privacy coin has risen by 19 percent in the last seven days and by 5 percent over the previous 24 hours.

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