Crypto Criminals Pocketed $14 BILLION in 2021
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Crypto Criminals Pocketed $14 BILLION in 2021

7 months ago

Chainalysis' figures show that transactions involving illicit addresses represented 0.15% of transaction volume in 2021.

Crypto Criminals Pocketed $14 BILLION in 2021

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New figures from Chainalysis suggest that illicit addresses linked to crypto criminals received a whopping $14 billion in funds over 2021.
That's a new all-time high — and a marked increase from the $7.8 billion seen in 2020.
The blockchain intelligence firm said the spike was to be expected given how transaction volumes have surged 567% year on year, but added:

"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."

Chainalysis' figures show that transactions involving illicit addresses represented 0.15% of transaction volume in 2021, but warned that this has the potential to rise as investigations continue.

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.

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Bitcoin Seizures Rise

In other developments, a report by New Scientist has revealed that British police forces have seized cryptocurrencies worth $436 million over the past five years. Most of these digital assets were obtained by London's Metropolitan Police, and BTC accounts for 99.9% of the coins retrieved.

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.

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