Clever new kid on the crypto blockMonero is up 22% for the week so far as people take a closer look at the privacy-orientated cryptocurrency following the federal seizure of Colonial Pipeline ransomware payments.
Last week, the FBI successfully followed the money trail on Bitcoin’s blockchain and breached the crypto wallet held by the Colonial Pipeline hackers. The group managed to pull in 75 Bitcoin, worth nearly $5 million, after cutting off the gas supply to most of the East Coast last month. That’s all well and good for the people of Colonial Pipeline, but it was a pretty nasty wake-up call for the cyber-criminals of the world, who thought that demanding their ransom in cryptocurrency would protect them from the Feds.
On the plus side, it is making the privacy-orientated Monero look very attractive, especially to those with dodgy intentions. The crypto has been around since 2014, created by a group of anonymous developers, and it is slowly becoming a favorite of the privacy coins due to its opaque blockchain and anonymous transaction details. Bitcoin has a public ledger, which means that all transactions can be seen by anyone, but Monero’s privacy features make it easier to use for the dark web and any illicit activities. The coin is now accepted by three of the five largest darknet markets, just in case you were wondering.
Things first took off in 2016 when darknet market AlphaBay opened to Monero deposits, but 2018 saw prices plummet from highs of above $250 in January to below $50 by the end of the year. It looks like a resurgence is on the way though, because these privacy coins are only going to get more popular as the Feds get more crypto-clever.
explained Fred Thiel, former chairman of Ultimaco, one of the largest cryptography companies in Europe.