Europol has announced that when it comes to internet-based organized crime, bitcoin is still king,
“While we have previously reported a small shift towards more privacy-focused cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Bitcoin still remains the currency of choice for both legitimate and criminal use,” Europol reported in its latest assessment, according to Hard Fork.
In other news, the experts at ING believe a “fully-fledged central bank digital currency is coming,” with its chief economist Mark Cliffe and its lead economist for digital finance Teunis Brosens saying we “might well see a central bank digital currency emerge within the next five years.”
In fact, Cliffe said that with bank-owned digital currencies, there is the possibility of getting “rid of hard cash and notes” entirely, Hard Fork reported.
Researchers at McAfee discovered that hackers that used Sodinokibi ransomware were able to get their hands on $287,499 in bitcoin in 72 hours. The malware, which is also known as REvil, was first launched in April and has more than 40 active affiliates. Its creators receive between $700 and $1,500 from every payment.
“With the Sodinokibi ransomware a unique BTC wallet is generated for each victim. As long as no payment is made, no trace of the BTC wallet will be available on the blockchain. The blockchain operates as a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions that have happened. When no currencies are exchanged, no transactions are recorded. Although many victims hit the news, we understand that if they paid, sharing that with the research community is maybe a bridge too far,” the researchers wrote.
And both Ripple and Coinbase have invested in Bitso, a Mexico-based crypto exchange. Jump Capital, along with existing investors including Digital Currency Group and Pantera Capital, also participated in the round. Financial details were not disclosed.
Coin Telegraph reported that the funds will be used to help Bitso expand into Argentina and Brazil, as well as other Latin American countries.