Over the past few months, we have seen a new trend in the world of darknet marketplaces. While Bitcoin has been the dominant payment method, platform operators want to experiment with other currencies. Since Bitcoin has no privacy traits whatsoever, that is a smart decision. Monero, ZCash, and even Ethereum are being experimented with as we speak. Strangely enough, none of those currencies is gaining much traction on the darknet.
It is not hard to see why the darknet is still in love with Bitcoin. Despite not having privacy or anonymity traits, Bitcoin is a global payment method. It can be used to buy both legitimate and illegal goods and services. Moreover, it has become borderline convenient to obtain Bitcoin when needed. More specifically, the currency has a lot of fiat currency gateways all over the world.
The Darknet Will Always Prefer Bitcoin
Ethereum is also making some headway in this regard, though. However, Ethereum has no privacy either, and its value is steadily declining lately. It is also far too “technical” for most people to get used to compared to Bitcoin. In this regard, it is highly improbable Ethereum will ever become a darknet currency. The only place to experiment with it is AlphaBay, and they have disappeared with the northern sun. No other markets show any interest in ETH either right now.
Other privacy-centric currencies, such as Monero and ZCash, would be of great benefit for darknet users. Unlike Bitcoin, both currencies can offer some degree of anonymity. However, these currencies lack the fiat currency gateways required to purchase them. In most cases, people need to buy Bitcoin first and exchange that for XMR or ZEC. It doesn’t make sense to use anything but Bitcoin on the darknet in this regard. Unless Zcash and Monero become easier to purchase with fiat currency, they won’t become popular on the darknet either.
In the end, Bitcoin will remain the darling currency of deep web users. If marketplaces start to integrate multisig escrow solutions, things will get even more interesting. It is evident these privacy-centric currencies have a real struggle on their hand. Their biggest user base could have been the darknet, but people show very little interest in it right now. If these currencies can’t even convince those users of the benefits, things are not looking great.
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