A new report by the EU-focused law-enforcement organization’s “Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2018” (IOCTA) says that cryptocurrency users and exchanges are at increasing risk of “criminal abuse” by bad actors within the space.
The report cited the risk of hacking and “extortion of personal data and theft” plaguing individuals involved in the cryptocurrency space. Cryptojacking, where illicit miners are hidden in web code to maliciously mine cryptocurrencies on unsuspecting users is also on the rise; some report it to have risen just under 1000% year-over-year from June 2017 to June 2018. While the report only mentioned Bitcoin, it is beginning to be recognized that Zcash and Monero are the growing cryptocurrencies of choice for illicit activities, whereas Dash used to commonly be lumped into this group. The report also cited fears of decentralized exchanges for enabling money lauding since they do not implement AML/KYC compliance standards.
The report also claimed that terrorists have raised funds via cryptocurrencies, but admits that “their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance service”. It also admits that “none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies”.
Illicit activities occur no matter the medium of exchange
The report does highlight concerns of criminal activity within the cryptocurrency space, but also caveats it with the fact that this is still a relatively small portion of overall cryptocurrency activities and many illicit activities still take place via the traditional financial sector. Other studies have shown that illicit activities are only 1% of all Bitcoin transactions. As the report also highlighted, money laundering through traditional financial institutions as well as credit/debit card fraud remains a big issue for criminal activity. This emphasizes the point that despite loud calls to regulate cryptocurrencies due to its “wild west” nature, a majority of criminal issues and problems remain with the traditional financial institutions that cryptocurrency was created to solve.
There is also growing popularity of Zcash and Monero to be used for illicit activities since new methods of blockchain analysis reveal that authorities have the capabilities to track consumers using Bitcoin and even potentially link wallet addresses to real life identities. This draws attention to the fact that Dash is no longer listed among the privacy coins used by criminals, which used to be a common occurrence.
Dash offers real world usability with privacy
Dash is striving to offer consumers around the world decentralized, digital, peer-to-peer currency to be used in everyday lives as seen through the rapid merchant adoption that is now over 3,000 merchants globally. As an additional service, Dash offers consumers PrivateSend as a way to achieve greater privacy by mixing Dash between multiple parties’ wallets. However, all Dash transactions are still viewable on the public blockchain. This allows Dash to offer privacy to consumers without attracting too much undue government regulator attention since the optional and public nature signals that it is being used by average consumers, whereas those participating in illicit activities are likely to seek out other anonymous methods.
Dash also prides itself on having a very supportive and organized community so new entrants and intermediate users can easily ask around and find information that they need in order to make more informed decisions about using Dash, integrating Dash into their businesses, or advocating Dash to other individuals. Dash Core Group issues regular quarterly calls and blog posts, Dash Force News features daily news updates, Dash Nation host the discord channel for the community, Dash Forum provides a wealth of discussion knowledge, and Dash Watch issues reports on funded proposals. Additionally, the Dash Documents provides extensive documentation on Dash in many languages. This all helps signal to government agencies that Dash does not intend to be in the dark to assist criminal activities, but rather to be out in the open to help everyday consumers solve real world problems created by the current financial and monetary system.