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New report from EU Innovation Hub raises concerns about privacy coins and crypto mixers

European Union Report Highlights Challenges for Cryptocurrency Mixing Protocols in Legislative Acceptance

The European Union is facing a dilemma when it comes to balancing individual privacy and collective security in the realm of data encryption. While encryption can help protect personal information, it can also be used by bad actors to evade law enforcement.

The EU Innovation Hub, a collaborative initiative involving various EU agencies and member states, recently published a report highlighting the dual-use nature of cryptographic technologies. The report specifically addressed the use of encryption in cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs), noting that while these technologies rely on public-private cryptography for storage, mining, and transfers, they can also be exploited by criminals to launder funds.

The report called out specific cryptocurrencies and protocols, such as Monero, Zcash, Grin, Dash, and zero-knowledge proofs, for making it easier for bad actors to obscure their activities on the blockchain. It also mentioned the use of services like Tornado Cash by hackers and scammers to deter traceability of stolen funds.

Despite the challenges posed by encryption in the cryptocurrency space, the report emphasized that law enforcement authorities can still investigate and track suspicious transactions when access to private keys is obtained. The report was created by six EU Innovation Hub members, including Europol, Eurojust, and the European Commission.

The issue of encryption and privacy in the cryptocurrency world was further highlighted by the recent case of Alexey Pertsev, the developer of the Tornado Cash mixing protocol, who was found guilty of money laundering. This case has raised concerns about the potential implications for open-source code developers in the future.

As the debate over data encryption and privacy continues, it remains to be seen how European legislative bodies will address the challenges posed by cryptocurrency mixing protocols and other encryption technologies.

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