The unified European police agency, Europol, is observing a “distinct shift” to cryptocurrencies that “provide a higher level of privacy.”
Jarek Jacubchek, a cybercrime analyst at Europol, pined those quotes as he went on to discuss how Monero, Zcash, and Dash have various methods of anonymity and confidentiality. Jacubchek complained that the inability of enforcement agencies to tie transactions to individuals limits their ability to identify suspects, gather evidence of criminality, and seize criminal proceeds.
Jacubchek further discussed how the use of more privacy focused coins indicates a degree of sophistication among criminals since they are required to go through multiple exchanges and currencies to achieve the highest level of privacy. He recognized that simply using cryptocurrencies isn’t inherently illegal, but feared that cryptocurrencies could be prone to use by criminals.
Despite Europols concern about criminals using private coins to skirt law enforcement, a recent study indicate that Bitcoin is still the cryptocurrency of choice among the dark web. While another report concludes that only 1% of all Bitcoin transactions are criminal in nature.
Increased demand for stronger privacy than offered by Bitcoin
Nevertheless, there has been a steady increase in the demand and usage or privacy focused coins demonstrated by their increases in price. Year-over-year, Monero’s price increased 2,331%, Zcash increased 938%, and Dash increased 1,367% compared to Bitcoin’s price increase of 809%. Price changes can shed insight into larger consumer demand preferences; anecdotally, the demand for privacy is growing.
The demand for privacy manifest itself not only in increased demand and usage of privacy focused cryptocurrencies, but also in the many encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram, Wire, and Signal just to name a few. Demand for privacy manifests itself in companies like Apple that waged a long war against the FBI to ensure privacy for its consumers. Demand for privacy even manifests itself in Europe; yes, the same countries that participate in Europol have some of the world’s most secure privacy laws. Cryptocurrencies arose to solve market inefficiencies, one of which was the lack of privacy for consumers.
Dash seeks airtight privacy with a cleaner image
While owing its origins to a purely privacy-focused mission, Dash seeks to expand its usefulness to the public at large. Consumers seek out the product that solves the most of their problems, and Dash, with PrivateSend, attempts to solve consumers’ desires of privacy, while also allowing the coin to operate in less private regular crypto transactions to customize services to each consumer preference type. By focusing on features that benefit the average consumer for legitimate commerce, Dash can avoid undue scrutiny from overzealous authorities who misinterpret its privacy features as meaning that the whole coin is geared towards illicit activity.