Bitcoin (BTC) initially gained popularity on the darknet marketplaces for facilitating transactions owing to its anonymity. However, the focus now seems to have shifted with the most active darknet marketplace preferring Monero (XMR) over Bitcoin (BTC). Darknet marketplaces are online black markets accessible only through p2p communication encryption protocols such as onion router or Tor. Known to sell illicit services from human trafficking, drugs, guns, and any other illegal items one could imagine.
The first darknet marketplace to gain popularity was the Silk Road, which eventually got shut down by the FBI in 2013. Its founder, Ross Ulbricht is still in prison. The Silk Road provided significant exposure to the idea of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, Monero’s (XMR) focus on hyper anonymity has shifted the attention of darknet users from Bitcoin (BTC) to Monero (XMR). For instance, in Oct. 2020, the Europol law agency published in its 2020 edition of IOCTA report that Monero (XMR) has gained significant popularity as a transaction medium on the dark web.
The agency also highlighted that initially, Bitcoin (BTC) was the preferred method of cryptocurrency. However, over the years, the focus has been shifted to privacy cryptocurrencies such as Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH).
Meanwhile, one of the most active darknet marketplace White House Market revealed at the end of the previous year that it is no longer supporting Bitcoin (BTC) payments. The platform will now apparently only accept payments in privacy coin Monero (XMR).
A loophole of Bitcoin (BTC) in dark web marketplaces is that its previous transactions can be traced. This signifies that Bitcoin (BTC) spent at any darknet marketplace can reveal the owner’s identity. In counterpart, Monero (XMR) is designed to be anonymous and does not keep any record of any previous transactions.
Monero’s reputation in the crypto market might appear as a cryptocurrency for facilitating only for illicit means. On the contrary, this is not true, Monero (XMR) might be also used by people with entirely legitimate intentions such as avoiding purchase tracking by advertising companies.