Organized crime has always thrived on illegitimately obtained wealth for illegal activities across the boundaries of nations. This has been the norm since time immemorial.
In today’s technologically advanced world, virtual money has replaced physical cash for almost all exchanges and transactions.
And accordingly, it has been rumored darkly by observers that cryptocurrency was being stolen by organized criminals and used for all their illegal activities.
However, a recent report published by the European Union shows that organized crime groups have been stumbling in cryptocurrency stolen from the internet.
This sounds like an intriguing new development for law enforcement in the region.
The report states that members of the organized crime group have been inclined to use Bitcoin transactions both for funding activities and laundering purposes.
There is well-documented evidence to indicate that Bitcoin is the biggest and most widely used form of cryptocurrency.
Additionally, it offers pure anonymity to the user of the same, and that is most appealing to criminals.
But while the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency makes transactions difficult to trace, organized criminals are still not quite as well-versed in the technological aspects of Bitcoin as they should be.
The EU report concluded that Bitcoin has been used on a larger scale by the likes of computer hackers, cyber-criminals and even terrorist outfits.
This is because these parties have the requisite technical know-how to outsmart the digital security systems and conduct transactions efficiently enough.
Does this new shred of truth suggest that Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are now safer than ever? Well, the EU itself is not very sure about that.
For all the technical hurdles faced by criminals who are relatively unaccustomed to modern technology, cryptocurrency is being lapped up by countless non-criminal individuals and groups around the world.
According to a report by Futurism, the emerging Asian markets of China and Japan have contributed to the surge of cryptocurrency usage in recent months.
The fact that there are so many people using cryptocurrency systems now makes the threat of cyber crime more menacing than ever.
Some of the most high-profile hacking cases in recent times have been particularly stealthy, extracting cryptocurrency out of the most unexpected channels.
Let’s not forget the recent case of a vicious attack of malware that hampered cryptocurrency systems’ security image seriously.
Last month, an anonymous Bitcoin user reported that 13 BTC were stolen from him, thanks to malware that altered the destination address in midst of a regular transaction.
This person was conducting a normal Bitcoin transfer of funds to a friend.
In the midst of that, the destination address was suddenly altered and the payment was never received by the intended friend at all.
That indicated to the user that some sort of malware had been responsible for this particularly dirty trick of cryptocurrency theft.
What made it more complicated was the user’s inability to halt the transactions before confirmation. Despite many attempts to cancel the transaction, it was nevertheless confirmed.
This exposed a blind spot in the security defenses of Bitcoin transactions.
Afterwards, many opined that all users should store their digital currencies in hardware wallets for safe keeping.
But even the mere fact that such a simple transaction was not canceled has given some cryptocurrency users the creeps.
The advantages of a cryptocurrency backup stored in a secure hardware wallet are valid and justified. But personal caution is also being recommended.
It is advised that all users of digital currencies keep a constant and alert watch over all their privy details and credentials, so as to stave off cyber crime and theft.
By storing all this information more securely, crooks and thieves can find it daunting to do such daredevilry.
And in the worst case scenarios, you can take some solace from the evidence that many criminals may not even know what to do out of it.