A slew of analytic firms such as Chainalysis are getting better at flagging digital hoards linked to crime or money laundering, alerting exchanges and preventing conversion into traditional cash. But they can do it only on the transparent ledgers like the one from bitcoin. Monero is a whole different beast.
And that is why the narrative of Monero being the favorite tool of criminals has formed and gained traction among mainstream media and in general public.
Monero encrypts the recipient’s address on its blockchain and generates fake addresses to obscure the real sender. It also obscures the amount of the transaction.
Riccardo Spagni, core developer at monero, said:
“As a community, we certainly don’t advocate for monero’s use by criminals,” Spagni said. “At the same time if you have a decentralized currency, it’s not like you can prevent someone from using it. I imagine that monero provides massive advantages for criminals over bitcoin, so they would use monero.”
However, one XMR holder has a different view on the intertwined relationship between monero and criminals:
Monero prevents criminals from seeing my finances and targeting me.
Monero prevents money that I obtain legally from being tainted by a criminal history
Monero prevents criminals from devaluing my hard earned money for their own gain
So yes, monero and criminals are closely intertwined.
Criminals are probably only a fraction of monero’s users, according to Lucas Nuzzi, a senior analyst at Digital Asset Research, which provides research to institutional investors.
“As with any disruptive technology, many of the initial use cases revolve around illicit activities,” he wrote in an email. But as everyday people grow concerned about privacy and surveillance, “there is utility in these currencies that go beyond just a means of exchange for illicit goods.”
As cryptoinsider writes, The US dollar is the cash currency of choice for criminals world wide. It helps the currency retain its value. Traditional asset investors have this at the back of their minds. What cryptocurrency will criminals turn to in the future? Currently, it’s ZEC and XMR – and the charts reflect accordingly.
FBI worried because of Monero
CoinDesk had a story last year about the FBI futile attempts to track monero ledger.
The privacy-focused digital currency monero has captured the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which has expressed concerns over its use among criminals.
Joseph Battaglia, a special agent working at the FBI’s Cyber Division in New York City, said during an event last week that widespread use of the increasingly popular cryptocurrency might impact the way the agency conducts investigations.
Addressing a group of about 150 law students at New York’s Fordham University, he said:
“There are obviously going to be issues if some of the more difficult to work with cryptocurrencies become popular. Monero is one that comes to mind, where its not very obvious what the transaction path is or what the actual value of the transaction is except to the end users.”
Regardless of the morality of the sources of adoption, coins that have found unique use cases are the coins that are outperforming in general. Surveillance state and privacy hijacking is getting out of hand and we can expect more and more monero bashing from the government controlled media channels. As long as they do it, it proves monero works as intended. Protecting your privacy is a right, not a crime!
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