Making Crypto Scary Again: Exploring Monero’s Darknet Dominance [VIDEO]

What up, Vigilantes? I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Rolf van Wegberg at Monerotopia for an intense, eye-opening discussion about cryptocurrency, crime, and the difficult world of regulation. Let me tell you, it was nothing short of a wild ride into the “scary” side of crypto.

As an academic researcher, Rolf has waded into the murky waters where crypto and crime collide. You know how much I enjoy pushing the boundaries of freedom and decentralized currencies, but Rolf’s findings were truly shocking. Did you know that Monero is used in 95% of darknet markets instead of Bitcoin? That’s right; only 5% of people use Bitcoin for their transactions.  Monero has taken the free-market currency crown. 

But why is Monero the preferred cryptocurrency in these markets? My friends, it all comes down to privacy and security. Vendors prefer Monero because it allows them to keep their financial information private, whereas buyers prefer Bitcoin because of its lack of privacy. However, market administrators have taken notice, opting to abandon Bitcoin entirely, which has fueled the switch to Monero.

This raises an urgent question: when the economic collapse or the next plandemic hits, will we be able to buy toilet paper on the darknet?  The free market has to give the sheeple what they want…

On a serious note, how will law enforcement and regulators deal with this shift? It’s no secret that Monero’s privacy features make it nearly impossible to figure out who’s behind transactions. While we know that this is the entire point of privacy coins, it is a double-edged sword when considering the role of companies like Chainalysis in preventing sanctions evasion.

This conversation went deep!  Watch and join the conversation below:

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All of this made me wonder: are we on the verge of a future in which transparent surveillance coins dominate, removing the very essence of what makes cryptocurrency so revolutionary? Is the ability to resist censorship being traded for compliance and control?

As Rolf and I continued our conversation, we descended into the great divide between Bitcoin and Monero, as well as the cryptocurrency industry’s ongoing struggle to maintain a positive image in the face of growing scrutiny. We agreed that collaboration across disciplines is critical for continued growth and learning in the crypto space, but I’m left wondering where this leaves us in the fight for true financial freedom.

So, my fellow Vigilantes, I leave you with the following thought-provoking questions: How do we strike a balance between privacy and security in the crypto world? And, in the pursuit of regulation, is the essence of what makes cryptocurrency so appealing and groundbreaking at risk of being lost?

Continue to fight the good fight, educate yourself and never stop challenging the status quo!

Peace, love, and anarchy.

Follow me on Twitter @VamosVigilante

Follow Rolf van Wegberg @RolfvanWegberg

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Rafael LaVerde

Rafael LaVerde has a background in private equity and venture capital. He discovered Bitcoin in 2012 while volunteering on Ron Paul's presidential campaign. He served as board member of a Libertarian Super PAC while doing post-graduate work in economics, and was also a member of the University of Texas’ Mises Circle. His formal education includes graduate degrees in continental philosophy and psychology. He has been a Bitcoin miner since 2014. Rafael also managed investor relations for the BitAngels Network, which helped finance the vast majority of early Bitcoin startups, and was also part of the DApps Fund team that revolutionized funding structures that eventually became known as ICOs and STOs. He was also the founding partner of what became one of the very first Bitcoin venture capital funds.