Why Bitcoin Is No Longer Cybercriminals' Currency of ChoiceUse of the Token for Cybercrime Fell From 97% to 19% Within 7 Years
The end of bitcoin appears to be near - for cybercriminals, that is.
Hackers in the Web3 ecosystem are shifting their focus away from bitcoin, the token once synonymous with cryptocurrency. Bitcoin accounts for only 19% of illicit crypto volume today, a steep fall from 97% in 2016, a recent report from TRM Labs showed.
Why is the oldest crypto token so unappealing to hackers these days, and what do the other options such as ethereum, Tron and Binance Smart Chain offer? Ari Redbord, head of legal and government affairs at TRM Labs, said it has to do with the nuances of digital assets used in cybercrime and their significance in the ecosystem.
The shift to other cryptocurrencies isn't tied to a specific type of token, Redbord said. It's akin to "building out a city from a very small town," he said. Illicit actors are using "the new streets and the new bridges," such as as newer types of tokens and cross-chain bridges.
In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Redbord also discussed:
- How security experts and bad actors are adapting to the rapidly changing threat landscape;
- How law enforcement is making the ecosystem safer;
- The effectiveness of sanctions on the illicit use of crypto;
Redbord is the head of legal and government affairs at TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence company. Prior to joining TRM, he was the senior adviser to the deputy secretary and the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In that role, Redbord worked with teams from the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and with regulators and Capitol Hill staff. Prior to Treasury, he spent 11 years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, investigating and prosecuting terrorism, espionage, threat finance, cryptocurrency, export control, child exploitation and human trafficking cases.