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Bitcoin is losing its luster with some of its earliest and most avid fans – criminals – giving rise to a new breed of virtual currency. Privacy coins such as monero, designed to avoid tracking, have climbed faster over the past two months as law enforcement adopts software tools to monitor people using bitcoin. Monero quadrupled in value to $349 in the final two months of 2017, according to coinmarketcap.com, placing it among a number of upstart coins that that rose faster than bitcoin, the world's most valuable digital currency. Bitcoin roughly doubled in the same period, data compiled by Bloomberg show.In monero's case, criminals are snapping it up because bitcoin's underlying technology can work against them. Monero is one of many privacy-focused coins, each offering different security features.Zcash high-security features can't be used on disposable burner phones, a favorite of criminals eager to stay anonymous.Developers behind monero say they simply created a coin that protects privacy.
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