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Cryptocurrency is a concept that goes from somewhat useful (Bitcoin) to just plain weird (Dogecoin), and now it goes a step further with the anonymous new cryptocurrency called Darkcoin. It acts similarly to Bitcoin, but its primary selling point is that Darkcoin is completely anonymous and difficult to trace.
How does Darkcoin pull off this extra anonymity? Unlike Bitcoin, which allows anyone to view transactions made through a public ledger called the blockchain, Darkcoin mixes up the records. The cryptocurrency combines the transactions of one user with those of a couple other users, which makes an analysis of the blockchain far more difficult. This prevents government agencies, corporations, or hackers from digging through records.
There’s no doubt that anonymous transactions are valuable to organizations, especially with the prevalence of hackers online. But Bitcoin isn’t the most secure method of online payment, and it has been known to be vulnerable to hacking attacks. This is likely why the concept of Darkcoin grew so popular within such a short period of time.
Unlike Bitcoin, with a value of somewhere around $337 per coin, or Dogecoin with an insignificant value (1 million Dogecoins equals roughly $118 … much wealth!), Darkcoin’s value is estimated to be roughly $1.73 per coin, making it an anonymous, affordable alternative to Bitcoin. This cost is down from when it was first released several months ago, valued at around $7 in May.
Of course, when anonymity is placed at such an affordable price, one has to imagine what people will do with this new convenience. Bitcoin was known as a fairly popular method of purchasing illegal substances or materials on the Internet’s black market, a trading route formerly known as “Silk Road.” These actions were busted by the FBI in September, but practitioners of questionable activity are always looking for new ways to build the black market up again. Darkcoin’s anonymity is far greater than Bitcoin, and as such, it is likely to be used for nefarious purchases online.
This is already happening with online drug dealers looking to restore the black market to its former glory. Deep within the gutters of the Internet, in reaches dark and dreary where few dare to tread, illegal activity runs rampant. This darkness is only growing, too, and users can potentially purchase drugs such as LSD, marijuana, and other, more hardcore drugs. We don’t need to tell you that this kind of activity on the Internet is unacceptable.
Despite its increasingly sketchy behavior, Darkcoin creator Evan Duffield defends the cryptocurrency as a valuable protector of the privacy rights of its users:
Yes, it was accepted and implemented by these two markets. I can’t really control that. The goal has always been to make a currency that’s privacy-centric and is more for mass consumer base types of things. It’s not just for buying drugs online.
Duffield makes a fair point, especially considering the brief history of cryptocurrency’s uses over the past few years. One of the defining parts of Bitcoin’s success was its use on the Silk Road prior to its shutdown, so perhaps Darkcoin’s uses will grow as time goes on. Anonymity is a valuable trait to have while online, but remember that NTConnections doesn’t endorse illicit activities concerning Darkcoin.
While we certainly don’t condone using cryptocurrency, we do recommend that you always use caution while making Internet transactions. One of the best ways to keep your business safe is to integrate a Unified Threat Management solution (UTM). You can take advantage of comprehensive security solutions, including strong firewalls, antivirus, web content blocking, and spam filtering. These measures protect your business from hacking attacks and stop threats from accessing your network to begin with. For more information about security best practices, call NTConnections at (703) 288-9767.