Bitcoin Is Still the Dark Web's Preferred Currency, Says Reported Funded by Zcash’s Developers

A report released by the Rand Corporation, a think tank and government contractor, revealed bitcoin is still the dark web’s preferred cryptocurrency.

In a 65-page report the organization release, the Rand Corporation examined the use of Zcash in three areas: money laundering, trade in illicit goods and services, and terrorism financing. Its report, which was commissioned last year by the company behind Zcash (ZEC) – the Electric Coin Company – found “no evidence of widespread illicit use of Zcash.”

The report reads:

Zcash has only a minor presence on the dark web, indicating that Zcash is seen as a less attractive option to dark web users and is used less often compared to other cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin and Monero.

The study clarified that while Zcash is indeed used for illicit purposes on the dark web, it’s widely seen as a less attractive option when compared to the flagship cryptocurrency bitcoin, or with Monero (XMR), another privacy-centric cryptocurrency.

Rand’s study concluded that only 1% of illicit offerings that mentioned cryptocurrency accepted Zcash payments, with only three sellers taking in ZEC payments: The Shop, Skyscraper, and Cyberzen. In contrast, 59% of listing accepted bitcoin, 27% accepted XMR, and 12% accepted ether.

The Rand Corporation’s researchers concluded:

Bitcoin is still perceived to be the dominant cryptocurrency for illicit or criminal activities on the dark web.

In a recently published blog post, the Electric Coin Corporation’s vice president of growth Josh Swihart touted Zcash was being used to buy ice cream and movie tickets by its users. It’s worth noting that in 2018 a report published by Europol revealed ISIS was using Zcash.

Featured image via Pixabay.

'Big Spender' Bitcoin Wallet Exploit Is an 'Issue With BTC Itself', Says BCH Supporter

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto security firm ZenGo has identified a double-spend exploit dubbed "BigSpender" which affected popular bitcoin wallets.
  • Exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction without the receiving user knowing. 

A crypto security firm has identified a double-spend exploit targeting popular bitcoin wallet providers. 

According to a report by ZenGo, the security firm has discovered a double and multiple spend wallet exploit for bitcoin dubbed “BigSpender.” The report claims the exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction but still have it appear in a victim’s vulnerable wallet. 

The report reads, 

The core issue at the heart of the BigSpender vulnerability is that vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.

As CryptoGlobe reported, ZenGo found that a user’s balance would be increased following an unconfirmed incoming transaction, without a subsequent decrease in the event the transaction being double-spent. The firm outlined how an attacker could use the exploit to cancel transactions of sent bitcoin while still receiving goods and services in return. 

The security firm tested nine popular cryptocurrency wallets and found BRD, Ledger Live and Edge to be vulnerable to the exploit. All three companies were notified by ZenGo of the threat and subsequently updated their products. However, the firm noted that “millions” of crypto users may have been exposed to the attack prior to the update. 

Bitcoin Cash supporter Hayden Otto told Cointelegraph the exploit is particularly concerning for bitcoin-accepting merchants. 

He said, 

The technique is facilitated by RBF (replace by fee), a so-called ‘feature’ added at the protocol level by the Bitcoin Core developers.The issue exists if you use BTC. Wallet software can only make some trade off, which results in a worse BTC user experience, in order to try to protect BTC users.

Otto claimed the exploit was derived from “an issue with BTC itself” and had little to do with wallet software. 

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