I can’t say for certain why Monero was selected by the site, but there is one thing that’s certainly a contributing factor which is the fact that this coin doesn’t require coin mixing. Other coins, Bitcoin included, require coin mixing and this may be the reason why they were not considered by Alphabay. With Monero, coins are mixed automatically because it uses ring signatures. This feature (use of ring signatures), enhances the anonymity of transactions more than ever and this has led to its growth because many of the cryptocurrency users enjoy the ability to make anonymous transactions. Due to Monero focusing too much on the privacy/anonymity of it’s users, it has attracted the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Monero was launched in 2014, but it wasn’t until last year (2016) when we saw its price rise significantly. According to Wired, its price rose from $0.50 at the beginning of the year, to $12 at the end of the year. The FBI is concerned that criminals will exploit the private nature of Monero to finance their criminal activities.
Addressing a group of about 150 law students at New York’s Fordham University, he said:
“There are obviously going to be issues if some of the more difficult to work with cryptocurrencies become popular. Monero is one that comes to mind, where its not very obvious what the transaction path is or what the actual value of the transaction is except to the end users.”
The FBI is singling Monero out for the very fact that its special properties put it on the same footing as two of the oldest and most trusted coins used for illicit activities–this is what cash is supposed to do, this is what capitalism is supposed to do. Good money does bad things. You will never see Washington wince when he’s used to buy crack, you will never see him yawn when you buy the morning paper, and you will certainly never see him cheer when you buy an ounce of your grandmother’s illicit cataract medication. Good money does bad things, period.
Those people fretting and hand waving do not see (or likely choose to ignore) that real freedom is tied to private money–good money capable of exerting its holders free will at any moment, at any time. Those that say big government has already won, have already lost the will to fight, to do what’s right in the face of impossible odds, to be vigorous freemen in a time apathetic slavery. At the end of the day, every man and woman’s choice is simple, to be a slave or a master–if you are waiting for the powers that be to validate your investment, you have made your last free choice and will gladly take what’s handed to you–and though I will feel pity for you, and can even emphasize with the conditions of your slavery, I will never sympathize with the conditions of your failure to break free and set a new course for humanity in this dark time of surveillance states. If you are waiting for an authority to take you by the hand and lead you greener pastures, you will be continually disappointed that greenest pastures, the choicest venues, the sparkling rivers, the places you always wished you could be, are reserved for those you follow.
Besides Bitcoin, the FBI has detected illegal cryptocurrency payments in Litecoin and Monero. In addition, FBI’s Cyber Division is currently looking into a diverse range of online criminal operations