A report by Chainalysis, a blockchain data company, claims that the number of cryptocurrency thefts will increase by 30 percent in 2021.
According to the report, law enforcement could deal a “huge blow” by focusing on the critical services that criminals use to censor cryptocurrency.
An estimated $14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies will be transferred by 2021, according to the company’s preliminary estimates. Cybercriminals laundered $8.6 billion in cryptocurrencies last year, an increase of 30 percent from 2020, according to a new report from Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company. More than $33 billion has been laundered by cybercriminals since 2017, according to Chainalysis. Centralized exchanges have also been used to hide much of this money. Chainalysis claims to be able to track cryptocurrency holdalls controlled by criminals, scammers, mortal merchandisers, darknet request drivers, and terrorist groups. Chainalysis was able to estimate the “cleaned” quantum by tracking cryptocurrency overflows from addresses associated with criminal activity.
Closing exchanges frequented by criminals, the report claims, would have a significant impact on the cleanliness of cryptocurrency as a whole. While billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency move from lawless addresses every time, the majority of it ends up at an unexpectedly small group of services, many of which appear purpose-built for plutocrat laundering,” the report states. “Law enforcement can strike a huge blow against cryptocurrency-grounded crime and significantly hinder culprits’ capability to pierce their digital means by dismembering these services,” it states. It has been reported by Europol that “criminal networks specialized in large-scale plutocrat laundering” have embraced cryptocurrencies and are providing their services to other criminals.
“Whilst the vast quantum of cryptocurrency use and exchange is for licit reasons, organized culprits have linked the benefits that cryptocurrency provides them,” Gary Cathcart, NCA’s head of fiscal disquisition, said. ”
Cryptocurrency structures are being used to censor illegal money, especially from drug deals. It is becoming increasingly common for ransomware to use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment as the threat grows.” In the wake of the gangs’ surrender, law enforcement is taking action, and cryptocurrency seizures are a part of it. Cryptocurrencies being used in lawless financial practices are also being addressed by new legislation.”
Low cost of sales
There will be a shortfall of $10.9 billion in 2019, according to Chainalysis.
Europol, on the other hand, believes the trend is rising.
In the Covid-19 epidemic, numerous criminal networks relied on cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for their criminal activities.”
They only include crimes like ransomware attacks where the perpetrators are paid in cryptocurrency.
The report doesn’t include money from offline crime, such as money from drug trafficking, that is converted into cryptocurrency to be cleaned, and this could be a new growth area.
As an example, it refers to the case of a nefarious gang in northern England that supplied drugs to road-position dealers and sold them for cash.
Cash from the dealers would be collected and delivered to a broker who would arrange for it to be converted into Bitcoin and then shot at an address specified by the crime syndicate, taking a four-figure fee.
As compared to more traditional methods of plutocrat laundering, “the report suggests that Bitcoin-based laundering could come decreasingly seductive to traditional culprits,” the authors write.
Chainalysis was also a good tool for tracking suspects’ shifting expressions.
An analysis of the data shows the importance of the so-called “decentralized finance” protocol (Defi) in 2021 has risen from 2 percent to 17 percent for criminals trying to hide cash in lawless holdalls.
Chainalysis says that many of these Defi protocols allow for fast switching between different types of cryptocurrency, which is enticing to launderers. As an example, the company pointed out that North Korea had previously used them extensively, resulting in a total value of $400 million in cryptocurrencies.
Organization for Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Director Paul Radu said that the criminals were “always early adopters of technology and they adopted cryptocurrencies 10 years ago” in response to the report. While law enforcement and other investigators (including intelligence officers) who follow the billionaire are still playing catch-up, their complication has grown, he said.
More than $750 million was transferred to decentralized finance platforms by wallet addresses linked to the theft, according to Chainalysis. Coin-related crimes like darknet sales and ransomware attacks, which generate crypto profits instead of fiat, were the source of $8.6 billion in laundering in 2017, according to Chainalysis.