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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bitcoin's murkier rivals line up to displace it as cybercriminals' favourite

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is well-entrenched as the preferred payment for cybercriminals like the WannaCry hackers who have hit more than 300,000 computers over the past week, but cryptocurrencies offering more anonymity are threatening to displace it.

A key reason for bitcoin's dominance in the nefarious online underworld, say technologists and cybercrime experts, is its size - the total value of all bitcoins in circulation is more than twice that of the nearest of hundreds of rivals.

That makes it easy for victims to access enough to pay the ransoms demanded, and for hackers to cash out of it via online exchanges to spend money in the real world.

Bitcoin was set up in 2008 by someone - or some group - calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto, and was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and hidden, making traditional financial regulation difficult if not impossible.

Full story at http://reut.rs/2pWfryW

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