Crypto money laundering rises 30% in 2021 -Chainalysis


Illumination of the stock graph is seen on the representations of virtual currency Bitcoin in this picture illustration taken taken March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cybercriminals laundered $8.6 billion in cryptocurrencies last year, up 30% from 2020, according to a report from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis released on Wednesday.

Overall, cybercriminals have laundered more than $33 billion worth of crypto since 2017, Chainalysis estimated, with most of the total over time moving to centralized exchanges.

The firm said the sharp rise in money laundering activity in 2021 was not surprising, given the significant growth of both legitimate and illegal crypto activity last year.

Money laundering refers to that process of disguising the origin of illegally obtained money by transferring it to legitimate businesses.

About 17% of the $8.6 billion laundered went to decentralized finance applications, Chainalysis said, referring to the sector which facilitates crypto-denominated financial transactions outside of traditional banks.

That was up from 2% in 2020.

Mining pools, high-risk exchanges, and mixers also saw substantial increases in value received from illicit addresses, the report said. Mixers typically combine potentially identifiable or tainted cryptocurrency funds with others, so as to conceal the trail to the fund's original source.

Wallet addresses associated with theft sent just under half of their stolen funds, or more than $750 million worth of crypto in total, to decentralized finance platforms, according to the Chainalysis report.

Chainalysis also clarified that the $8.6 billion laundered last year represents funds derived from crypto-native crime such as darknet market sales or ransomware attacks in which profits are in crypto instead of fiat currencies.

"It's more difficult to measure how much fiat currency derived from off-line crime — traditional drug trafficking, for example — is converted into cryptocurrency to be laundered," Chainalysis said in the report.

"However, we know anecdotally this is happening."

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

   

Next In Tech News

How over the air updates are keeping cars state of the art for longer
Ransomware attacks on US hospitals put patients at risk
Woman claims her avatar was sexually assaulted in the metaverse
App could replace sleeping pills in treatment for insomnia
The spice must flow in Early Access version of ‘Dune: Spice Wars’
Meet Imagen, Google’s new AI that turns text into images
Booking hotels online: Why you can never trust reviews 100%
Dyson shows off robotic arm that can find crisps at back of your sofa
Four years on, is the GDPR a pain or a forerunner in data protection?
Research: Google Chrome only blocking a quarter of phishing websites

Others Also Read