Monocoin (XMR): The Latest on the Dark Web’s Darling in 2023
Once the most popular privacy token on the dark web, Monroe Coin has disappeared from the homepage in the space of 3 years. Despite this, XMR still ranks among the top 30 most valuable cryptocurrencies and is followed by those who prefer untraceable transfers.
Monero trading volume has gradually declined since the historically active 2021. At the same time, regulators have tightened their regulations on privacy coins. Government authorities suspect that Monero (XMR) and other privacy-centric cryptocurrencies are being used for money laundering, tax evasion, and other criminal activities.
Coinbase, Kraken, Huobi, and Bittrex placed Monero in a separate jurisdiction for the enforcement of stricter regulations against XMR. Since then, Binance, KuCoin and Crypto.com have been the largest centralized exchanges supporting Monero and have primarily seen XMR trade with Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin (BTC).
XMR’s Social Media
Interest in XMR has returned to social media, where Monero Coin has one of the largest communities.
Data from LunarCrush shows that Monero-related online activity has intensified over the past year. The social intelligence platform says Monero Coin was mentioned 143% more frequently in 2022 than the previous year across most popular social media channels.
The number of people talking about Monero Coin increased by 234 percent each, while interactions on XRM social posts more than quintupled last year (574 percent) to 1.6 billion.
XMR is the second most preferred cryptocurrency on the dark web market
Compared to publicly available and traceable coins like Bitcoin, Monroe makes it more elusive for miscreants. For years, it has been the preferred payment method for the dark web and other illicit purposes.
In its 2023 Cryptocurrency Crime Report, Chainalysis said that illegal transaction volumes rose for the second year in a row in 2022, totaling $20.6 billion.
A significant portion (43 percent) of all illicit transaction volume came from activities related to entities sanctioned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
At the same time, the ransomware and dark web marketplaces have declined in value. A few years ago, both were closely linked to the high usage of XMR.
Illicit revenues from dark web markets have declined following the general downturn in cryptocurrency markets. This figure declined from $3.1 billion in 2021 to $1.5 billion in 2022.
Major dark web marketplaces like Hydra were shut down and new ones emerged, with Bitcoin and Monroe remaining the currencies of choice for trading on the dark web.
Of the three major dark web marketplaces that benefited the most from the collapse of Hydras, two still prefer Bitcoin to Monroe. Only the largest accept payments in Bitcoin, Monroe, and Tether.
The smaller dark web marketplaces more often accept Bitcoin and Monroe payments. However, according to Chainalysis, Bitcoin appears to be the most influential cryptocurrency on the dark web market due to their relatively low income.
2023 is a year of digital currency extremes, with a historic collapse of algorithmic stablecoins, cryptocurrency lenders, and cryptocurrency empires. Regulatory scrutiny of digital assets intensifies.
Privacy-centric projects have also come under unprecedented scrutiny from authorities. The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned cryptocurrency hybrid Tornado Cash for laundering billions of dollars.
Monroe Coin and other privacy coins appear to be under pressure. At the same time, they remain part of the dark web ecosystem, which plays by its own rules and is indifferent to legal requirements.