Cryptocurrency Crime Hits All-Time Excessive in 2021: Chainalysis


Cryptocurrency-linked crime surged to a file excessive final yr by way of worth, with unlawful addresses receiving $14 billion (roughly Rs. 1,04,200 crore) in digital currencies, up 79 % from $7.8 billion (roughly Rs. 58,060 crore) in 2020, in line with a weblog from blockchain evaluation agency Chainalysis launched on Thursday.

As of early 2022, Chainalysis stated illicit addresses already maintain over $10 billion (roughly Rs. 74,440 crore) price of cryptocurrencies, with nearly all of this held by wallets related to crypto theft.

Illicit addresses are outlined as wallets tied to felony actions equivalent to ransomware, Ponzi schemes, and scams.

That stated, illicit actions’ share of whole crypto transaction quantity remained low at simply 0.15 % in 2021. Whole transaction quantity surged to $15.8 trillion (roughly Rs. 11,76,14,410 crore) final yr, up greater than 550 % from 2020 ranges.

Chainalysis, nonetheless, stated the 0.15 % determine might nonetheless rise because the agency identifies extra addresses tied to unlawful transactions and incorporates that into the entire quantity.

In its final crypto crime report, Chainalysis had stated that 0.34 % of 2020’s crypto transactions was related to criminality. That quantity has now been raised to 0.62 %.

“Felony abuse of cryptocurrency creates big impediments for continued adoption, heightens the probability of restrictions being imposed by governments, and worst of all victimizes harmless individuals around the globe,” stated Chainalysis.

Nonetheless, the underlying pattern urged that aside from 2019 – an excessive outlier yr for crypto crime largely because of the multibillion-dollar PlusToken Ponzi scheme – crime has turn into a small a part of the cryptocurrency world.

The report additionally stated the rise in decentralised finance, or DeFi, which facilitates crypto-denominated lending outdoors conventional banking, has been a giant issue within the enhance in stolen funds and scams.

In 2020, lower than $162 million (roughly Rs. 1,210 crore) price of cryptocurrency was stolen from DeFi platforms, which was 31 % of the yr’s whole quantity stolen. That represented a 335 % enhance over the entire stolen from DeFi platforms in 2019.

In 2021, that determine rose one other 1,330 % to $2.3 billion (roughly Rs. 17,120 crore), Chainalysis stated.

DeFi transaction quantity surged 912 % in 2021, and Chainalysis stated outsized positive aspects on decentralized tokens like Shiba Inu have pushed buyers to take a position on DeFi tokens.

“The rise in DeFi-related crime is an instance of how criminals typically exploit new applied sciences,” Kim Grauer, head of analysis at Chainalysis, stated in an electronic mail to Reuters.

“When DeFi began to develop this yr, we noticed massive will increase in DeFi protocols getting used to launder cash in addition to DeFi protocols being the precise victims of crimes equivalent to hacking.”


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