The new underbelly
The black markets and services almost exclusively use the virtual online currency Bitcoin. An April 2012 report apparently by America's FBI (marked for official use only but leaked to the internet in early May) claims that the unique features of Bitcoin present distinct challenges for deterring illicit online activity.
While Bitcoin has legitimate uses, it is likely to continue to attract cyber criminals due to the ability to transact anonymously. "Since Bitcoin does not have a centralised authority, law enforcement faces difficulties detecting suspicious activity, identifying users and obtaining transaction records," the report says. It estimates the Bitcoin economy to be worth between $35 million and $40 million.