Justin Ehrenhofer, a member of the Monero development community, claims that the criminal use of cryptocurrency is expected to increase significantly in the future, says News Week.
The Colonial Pipeline incident back in May has led some analysts to speculate about alternative forms of cryptocurrency tokens that could be more difficult to trace in the future. “The more savvy criminals are using Monero,” says Rick Holland, a chief information security officer at Digital Shadows cyberthreat intelligence organization, told CNBC on Sunday.
According to reports, cybercriminals are increasingly turning to such cryptocurrencies due to the anonymity they offer.
Monero is used more often for ransom payments
Ehrenhofer, a Monero Space Workgroup developer, told Newsweek that he and other developers are not surprised. He said that “Monero is increasingly used for ransomware payments”. The use Monero increased in 2020 and 2021 and “We saw a large influx of people using Monero to transact in all sorts of commerce”.
“While we are disappointed that ransomware groups increasingly demand payment in Monero, we understand why they do, and we expect them to use Monero significantly more in the future”.
Ehrenhofer claims that some criminal groups actually offer a 10-20% discount when paying in Monero, and he predicts that many will stop accepting Bitcoin altogether for smaller ransoms. He also explained that most individuals are unaware that Bitcoin is much more public than they think.
According to Monero contributors, good money does not disclose all transaction information to the public, including attackers, foreign governments, and advertising companies. Moreover, Monero’s anonymity stems from the fact that the underlying software uses several mechanisms, such as “Stealth Addresses”, that make it nearly impossible to track a specific user’s spending.
Then again, Ehrenhofer explained that criminal behavior accounts for a tiny fraction of Monero’s overall network activity, with most of it involving speculation.