Not much has changed in the cryptocurrency market over the course of this week.
The market underwent a fluctuation in value after reaching a promising $125 billion, and then it lost $6 billion in no more than 24 hours.
The market did not manage to recover and is currently standing at just over $119 billion.
The leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), was also affected by the fluctuations but managed to stabilize on Wednesday. While the coin holds steady, experts are arguing on the future of BTC.
Jeff Schumacher, founder of BCG Digital Ventures and blockchain investor, expressed his concerns about Bitcoin in a CBNC panel discussion.
Schumacher believes that the price will nosedive to zero, considering that the currency is “not based on anything.”
In the meantime, other cryptocurrencies also experienced modest losses over the week. Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple’s XRP are still in a close fight for the second place on the top lists according to total market cap.
Bitcoin Transactions Rise in the Dark Web Despite Value Decrease
Despite the price drop Bitcoin has been experiencing lately, this is clearly not a reason for dark web users to replace the coin with another payment alternative. As a matter of fact, the numbers have doubled.
According to a recent Chainalysis report, the total number of Bitcoin transactions made on darknet markets has doubled in 2018 compared to 2017.
However, despite the increase in the number of transactions, the total value drastically fell considering that the price of the coin also decreased around the same period. From $700 million, in 2018 the value decreased to $600 million.
As reported in Forbes, cryptocurrency transactions on the dark web hold the second place in a list of the most popular cryptocurrency transaction types currently.
The first place belongs to cryptocurrency speculation, and just one spot after dark web transactions is money laundering.
Most places on the list are being held by illicit crypto activities such as ransomware or crypto thefts.
The last spot (eighth) is where the legal transactions that exchange cryptocurrencies for goods and services can be found.
As the Forbes report assumes, it’s highly unlikely that in the near future cryptocurrencies will increase their use in legal activities.
Data Breach on World-Leading Crypto Exchanges: A False Alarm?
News about a data breach on KYC (know-your-customer) data involving top cryptocurrency exchanges has been circulating around the internet this past week.
CCN was the first to report the breach. As they claimed in the article, they received the evidence from a cybersecurity expert that prefers to stay anonymous to the public.
The evidence reveals a picture of a vendor using the pseudonym “ExploitDOT” who is trading the stolen data on “Dread” a darknet market.
Bittrex, Poloniex, Binance and Bitfinex are the allegedly breached cryptocurrency exchanges, and the acquired information carry identity cards and driver’s licenses of the data breach victims.
According to the CCN article, they were able to confirm the ad and locate the listing on the dark web.
The data was being sold for around $10 per 100 documents. The dark web vendor even includes a discount for orders that go over 25,000 documents.
Soon after the news emerged, new information surfaced showing that the dark web post is over half a year old.
Further, none of the claims have officially been confirmed by the cryptocurrency exchanges, which might suggest that the whole incident is fake.
Binance, one of the mentioned names on the list of breached exchanges, looked into the matter and found no evidence of such a thing. Binance PR Manager Leah Li explained to Decrypt Media that the photos of the allegedly hacked accounts were photoshopped.
Stolen Bitcoins Can Now Be Tracked?
University of Cambridge researchers Mansoor Ahmed, Ilia Shumailor and Rose Anderson have possibly found a way to track stolen Bitcoins on the Bitcoin blockchain.
The researchers published a paper describing the ways stolen Bitcoin can be traced through a “taint” created during the transactions.
The algorithm that these students created is called Taintchain and can successfully map out patterns of behavior on the Bitcoin blockchain if they appear unusual.
One of the patterns shows how criminals cut their share of cryptocurrency in order to cover their tracks.
Bitcoin’s transactions rising on the dark web indicates that this digital coin is being used in illicit markets.
The new research could be the potential proven method of tracking all stolen Bitcoins and ultimately lowering the crime level significantly.
That’s it for our summary of this week’s major crypto news headlines. This is the 30th post in our crypto news series.
Catch up on the latest installments here:
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