Security

The dirty secret about Bitcoin: It's amplifying ransomware, cybercrime, and more

As Bitcoin grows in popularity, potential buyers need to be aware of risks that go along with it.

Cryptocurrency is on the rise and creating a lot of potential benefits, but one can't ignore the startling dark side and risks associated with it as well.

Despite potential benefits, cryptocurrency often gets a bad rap. Cybercriminals are drawn to Bitcoin and other currencies like it due to its anonymity and decentralized system, as reported in a new NullTX infographic.

SEE: Cybersecurity in 2018: A roundup of predictions (Tech Pro Research)

According to NullTX, the darknet has become the place to go for illegal activity online. Because of the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency, it has become the currency of choice for darknet criminals.

NullTX reported that a shocking 97% of darknet illicit activity has been conducted through Bitcoin over the years. While similar currencies such as Monero are growing in popularity, Bitcoin continues to be the leading one, specifically due to its liquid market.

According to the infographic, a number of crimes have found a platform through the darknet and cryptocurrency, most notably drugs, money laundering, and ransomware.

The graphic reported that money laundering is a common crime on the darknet. These transactions appear to be "clean" with the anonymous currency and could potentially lead to tax evasion. As noted in the graphic, some 36% of Bitcoin investors knowingly won't report capital gains or losses from their cryptocurrency.

Hackers also often demand ransoms for locked systems be paid in cryptocurrency as well, in regards to ransomware attacks. As noted in the graphic, Bitcoin is the most popular ransom payment method to avoid law enforcement.

For a deeper look at cryptocurrency crime, read the full infographic below.

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Image: NowSourcing/NullTX

Also see

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Image: NowSourcing/NullTX

About Laurel Deppen

Laurel Deppen is a student at Western Kentucky University.

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