Chainalysis' figures show that transactions involving illicit addresses represented 0.15% of transaction volume in 2021.
"With the growth of legitimate cryptocurrency usage far outpacing the growth of criminal usage, illicit activity’s share of cryptocurrency transaction volume has never been lower."
Despite putting a positive spin on the figures, the company says the extent of illicit activity within the crypto ecosystem is a "significant problem," writing:
"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."
Much of the rise seen in 2021 has been attributed to decentralized finance protocols and rug pulls, where developers build seemingly legitimate projects adn then abruptly vanish with their users' funds.
Bitcoin Seizures Rise
A big challenge for law enforcement, in the U.K. and elsewhere, has involved developing a technical understanding into how crypto works. To this end, a number of police forces have actually enlisted help from civilians.