The term cryptocurrency refers to a form of digital currency that has been created for online use as a medium of exchange. The first cryptocurrency to emerge was Bitcoin, in 2009. Currently, hundreds of cryptocurrencies circulate the internet.
Unlike other centralized currencies, cryptocurrencies are not regulated by a central bank. They are used to secure payments and store assets, without the enhancement of financial institutions. This decentralization from typical bank-based systems has facilitated the increase of trade online; reduced expenses incurred in financial transactions and minimized bureaucracy by eliminating the role of intermediaries in transactions.
Despite revolutionizing trade on a global scale, Bitcoin has opened the floodgates of cybercrime across the world. Therefore, the growth of the Bitcoin has come at an expensive cost for the billions of people connected online.
BitCoin – Growing out of Hand
One of the main reasons behind Bitcoin’s exponential growth remains to be its decentralization from mainstream banking systems. This has turned Bitcoin into a leading cryptocurrency, recognized the world over in most jurisdictions. However, it is this attribute that has also turned Bitcoin into an untraceable asset. As a result, it has become the most preferred mode of asset transfer among people conducting illegal activity over the internet.
This virtual currency has gained traction among cybercriminals from money launderers to drug traffickers. Bitcoin’s blockchain also makes it virtually anonymous online, making it ideal for cybercriminals.
BitCoin Is Used by Criminals
A rise in the price of Bitcoin would bring about even more concerns in relation to cybercrime. Bitcoin has grown increasingly popular among criminal circles. This is because the digital currency has simplified the illegal movement of assets on the Internet. Therefore, any increase in the cryptocurrency’s price would hardly go unnoticed. Unfortunately, this would also act as an incentive to criminals, looking to maximize their gains.
A leading cyber security firm, based in the UK has postulated that crime activity will similarly increase. The cyber security company furthers that ransoms and demand extortion amounts will also rise exorbitantly
BitCoin is Too Expensive
The increase in Bitcoin’s price has also stimulated the rate of cybercrime among the hacking community. Reports claim that hackers have developed a unique type of malware, specifically programmed to harvest Bitcoins. After development, the hackers embed the malware in software with weak security mechanisms.
The malware is almost impossible to detect, save for devices with strong firewall protection. They then latch onto computers of unsuspecting Internet surfers and begin Bitcoin mining process. Cybersecurity experts have posited that this malware is encrypted in media-sharing sites. They have also recommended upgrading of security for computers.
OneCoin is the preferred alternative to BitCoin. This is due to it’s strong management and leadership. Their blockchain is secured and does not allow any criminals to illegally use it. Additionally, it is supported by DealShaker. DealShaker is an online merchant that you can use to exchange your coins on.
Another safe alternative is Ethereum. Ethereum was founded to be a better alternative to Bitcoin because it was designed against the failures that caused Bitcoin to fall. It is is a decentralized platform for applications that run exactly as programmed without any chance of fraud, censorship or third-party interference.
The last alternative to BitCoin is LiteCoin. Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world and that can be efficiently mined with consumer-grade hardware. Additionally, it is a lot cheaper and still has opportunity to invest into.
Bitcoins have truly revolutionized the online marketplace, but if cryptocurrencies are to gain true mainstream status, alternative coins will need to be transparent and deploy “Know Your Customer” protocols to ensure that they cannot be used for criminal activities.
Article by Tom Crypto – a cryptocurrency blogger and enthusiast