Popular privacy-enhancing cryptocurrency wallets and other technologies were named as “top threats” in Europol’s 2020 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment published Monday and reviewed by CoinDesk.
- According a report by the European Union’s law enforcement agency, “privacy-enhanced wallet services using coinjoin concepts (for example, Wasabi and Samurai [sic] wallets) have emerged as a top threat in addition to well established centralized mixers.”
- These statements echo comments made in June by the agency, as CoinDesk reported.
- Actors labeled as threats in the report have also been “increasingly using hardware wallets” to securely store funds and private keys.
- Europol's report also included decentralized marketplace protocols as a “high priority threat”, specifically naming OpenBazaar, developed by cryptocurrency software company OB1, noting “thousands of downloads on Android” for the company’s mobile platform Haven.
- “Criminals have started to use other privacy-focused, decentralized marketplace platforms, such as OpenBazaar and Particl.io to sell their illegal goods,” the report says.
- OB1 CEO Brian Hoffman told CoinDesk his company “only bundle[s] the OB1 search engine” for OpenBazaar, and markets on their Haven product are actively filtered to remove listings that don’t comply with law enforcement and app store requirements.
- The OpenBazaar protocol itself, however, “can be used by anyone, and there is no middleman to remove listings before being published,” he added.
- “These privacy coins may present a considerable obstacle to law enforcement investigations,” according to Europol's report.
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