Cryptocurrency crime in 2021 hits all-time high in value

 Cryptocurrency-linked crime surged to a record high last year in terms of value, with illegal addresses receiving $14 billion in digital currencies, up 79% from $7

8 billion in 2020, according to a blog from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis released on Thursday

As of early 2022, Chainalysis said illicit addresses already hold over $10 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, with the majority of this held by wallets associated with crypto theft

Illicit addresses are defined as wallets tied to criminal activities such as ransomware, Ponzi schemes and scams

That said, illicit activities' share of total crypto transaction volume remained low at just 0

15% in 2021

Total transaction volume surged to $15

8 trillion last year, up more than 550% from 2020 levels

Chainalysis, however, said the 0

15% figure could still rise as the firm identifies more addresses tied to illegal transactions and incorporates that into the total volume

In its last crypto crime report, Chainalysis had said that 0

34% of 2020's crypto transactions was associated with illegal activity

That number has now been raised to 0


"Criminal abuse of cryptocurrency creates huge impediments for continued adoption, heightens the likelihood of restrictions being imposed by governments, and worst of all victimizes innocent people around the world," said Chainalysis

Still, the underlying trend suggested that with the exception of 2019 - an extreme outlier year for crypto crime largely due to the multibillion-dollar PlusToken Ponzi scheme - crime has become a small part of the cryptocurrency world

The report also said the rise in decentralized finance, or DeFi, which facilitates crypto-denominated lending outside traditional banking, has been a big factor in the increase in stolen funds and scams

In 2020, less than $162 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from DeFi platforms, which was 31% of the year's total amount stolen

That represented a 335% increase over the total stolen from DeFi platforms in 2019

In 2021, that figure rose another 1,330% to $2

3 billion, Chainalysis said

DeFi transaction volume surged 912% in 2021, and Chainalysis said outsized gains on decentralized tokens like Shiba Inu have pushed investors to speculate on DeFi tokens

"The increase in DeFi-related crime is an example of how criminals often exploit new technologies," Kim Grauer, head of research at Chainalysis, said in an email to Reuters

"When DeFi started to grow this year, we saw large increases in DeFi protocols being used to launder money as well as DeFi protocols being the actual victims of crimes such as hacking


Date:08-Jan-2022 Reference:View Original Link