The huge spike increases that Bitcoin has seen over the past few weeks meant that the troubled cryptocurrency was finally starting to make positive headlines, after spending years struggling to rid itself of the association with cyber criminals and organized crime. Therefore, the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attacks that recently struck all across the globe couldn’t have come at a worse time for Bitcoin.
As part of this recent spate of ransomware attacks, cyber criminals were demanding $300 in Bitcoin payments in order to unlock infected computers. All the infected individual or organization needed to do was set up a Bitcoin wallet and send the anonymous payment in order to receive a code that would unlock their computer.
Of course, these attacks aren’t the first time that cyber criminals have demanded Bitcoin payments as part of their ransomware attacks. In fact, it seems that the cryptocurrency is quickly becoming the currency of choice for cyber crime, and it has long been the favored currency for those dealing in drugs, weapons and other illicit items bought and sold over the darkweb.
These direct links to cyber crime are definitely one of the biggest problems currently facing Bitcoin, as it seems impossible for the cryptocurrency to gain the legitimacy it desires when it continues to facilitate so much criminal activity all across the world. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Bitcoin will be able to solve these criminal problems soon.
Part of what makes the currency so popular is its anonymity, but unfortunately, this is also what makes it so popular amongst cyber criminals. Although the Bitcoin blockchain keeps a record of every transaction, Bitcoin wallets themselves are still anonymous. This makes keeping track of who is actually sending and receiving the money virtually impossible.
However, some cryptocurrencies like OneCoin are finding ways around this problem by using more advanced blockchain technology that does a much better job at tracking the transactions and thus at preventing the currency from being used for criminal activities. Of course, no technology is entirely flawless, meaning that every cryptocurrency can potentially be exploited by criminals.
Nonetheless, the fact that OneCoin is learning from Bitcoin’s mistakes and incorporating improvements in its blockchain technology in an attempt to avoid repeating these same mistakes means that we are likely to see it continue to grow even bigger in the future. As more and more investors look for a more secure, more stable cryptocurrency, it seems that Bitcoin’s loss could be OneCoin’s gain.