Editor’s Note: This post is the first installment of a new series snapshotting the intersection of cryptocurrencies and the dark web. Stay tuned for weekly updates exclusively on Dark Web News.
The world of cryptocurrencies—the real bear market impacting the darknet community—was given some relatively positive news recently, and maybe even a little stability.
Depending on which side of the fence you’re on in the discussion surrounding token vs cryptocurrency, we finally have a decision from a regulatory body, for better or worse.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the long time financial regulator of the United States, officially announced that Bitcoin and Ethereum were not securities, as per its new matrix to evaluate various cryptocurrencies.
The SEC released a series of tests which should be applied to each token and cryptocurrency to determine if they are a security.
Essentially, the key issue is centralization.
Here’s a breakdown of what this means:
Security or Cryptocurrency?
There are of course multiple factors which the SEC is going to examine when looking at individual tokens and cryptocurrencies, but if you want to be quick and go for the jugular then the core issue is centralization.
If there is a “governing body” of sorts, or if the price of the token is determined largely based on one group of people or organization (which, if they have a controlling stake, just adds wood to the fire), then you’re well on your way to looking at a security.
Bitcoin remains the most stable cryptocurrency currently, but it’s clear that the “weak hands” are beginning to show strain as everyone who bought into Bitcoin over the last 10 months or so is starting to question everything about it—regardless of the ridiculous growth if viewed annually.
The purists urge them to sell and move on, as if to cement their position that Bitcoin is absolutely going to change the world much more than it has already, making the current price somewhat irrelevant.
Everyone that uses Bitcoin to make any dark web purchases will definitely be thinking twice at the moment since there is certainly a cloud in the air of “opportunity cost.”
Something might cost 0.05 BTC today, but in a year from now, that same amount of Bitcoin might provide multiple times the quantity of your purchase.
It would be incredibly interesting to gain insight on the volume of transactions in darknet markets at the moment, but operating in this area means hard statistics are nearly impossible to obtain.
The black market runs on estimations, and at Dark Web News we estimate that the current Bitcoin price is slowing marketplace sales.
Is this all a conspiracy by law enforcement to hurt darknet markets? No, Bitcoin has grown beyond the walls of the dark web, and even though dark web market transactions still make up a large portion of Bitcoin goods sales, the “fintech” industry built around cryptocurrencies dominates the value.
Monero was added to the Debian unstable repository last week in a move which undoubtedly, over time, will increase the value of the cryptocurrency preferred by many dark web users.
It’s a cryptocurrency with privacy inbuilt, masking wallet locations, amounts and destinations inherently.
Adoption is arguably the second big hurdle that all coins and tokens must tackle in order to remain relevant and not fade into obscurity; forever tethered to the price and trends of Bitcoin, waiting to just die off.
Monero already has significant adoption across darknet markets, and news of being added to the repo keeps the development ticking along nicely.
It’s been a healthy week for Zcash following news that the privacy token has been added to the Bitcoin IRA.
This is a relatively “easy” feat to accomplish for a cryptocurrency that isn’t total garbage, but it is healthy nonetheless, and will undoubtedly keep Zcash a crypto worth having.
Bloomberg Terminal, a financial data monitoring service, has added Huobi’s crypto index, which lists Zcash within it.
This distinguishes Zcash from multiple other cryptocurrencies and will certainly help in preventing it from falling away in popularity.
New Token: EOS
It’s been a turbulent launch for the much-hyped EOS token, the foundation having to shut down blocks for upwards of five hours following teething problems.
There is already issues within the foundation which controls a significant portion of the currency itself.
Against the SECs decision, EOS may be classified as a security, which will raise the stress level of those within the foundation itself.
It’s not likely that this cryptocurrency is going to make significant waves within the dark web. This looks to just be another token, albeit one with a significant market cap.
Exchanges and Privacy-Centric Coins
Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has removed four privacy cryptocurrencies this month, following a statement in May.
The exchange has done this after suffering a hack earlier this year, marking the lack of measures the exchange can take when these privacy coins do their job and mask destinations.
It’s something to be wary of, because the investors are the ones floating this entire market, even with darknet market uses of these coins.
If more exchanges follow suit, it could jeopardize the consistent use of privacy-orientated crypto.
The technology works though, unluckily for the hacked Coincheck, but positive for those leaning on this function.
We’re planning to provide regular updates on the cryptocurrencies that power the dark web, so check back soon.
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