Crypto analytics company, Chainalysis, recently released a report detailing money laundering in form of cryptocurrency. The report revealed that in the past year (2021), $8.6 billion worth of crypto assets was syphoned fraudulently. ayokinews.com reports
This huge volume surpassed the total value of laundered crypto in 2020. The same year, fraudulent activities in the crypto space increased significantly.
However, the gross value of cryptocurrency laundered was roughly $6 billion. Thus, 2021 saw a 30% increase in money laundering within the crypto ecosystem when compared to the previous year.
Since the boom of cryptocurrency in 2017, cyber attackers have collectively laundered $33 billion worth of crypto assets. A bulk of these have been completed in centralized exchanges.
The Chainalysis report also revealed that North Korea have played a key role in crypto laundering over the years. In 2021 alone, about $400 million worth of crypto assets were ‘stolen’ by North Korea.
Cryptocurrency – A Tool for Illicit Activities?
The European Union Law Enforcement Agency (EUROPOL), also stated that the increase in financial crimes in crypto is as a result of the decentralized ecosystem which supports anonymity to a great degree.
The agency further explained that while complete anonymity is absent in the crypto ecosystem, the level of anonymity obtainable in the ecosystem gives room for fraudsters to get away with malicious acts.
In recent times, activities like the payment of ransoms or the movement of incredibly large sums have been done seamlessly with the aid of cryptocurrency. A large volume of cryptocurrency have also been purchased by criminal networks in the past year.
EUROPOL thus aired their concerns on the use of cryptocurrency for fraudulent activities. The agency revealed that more individuals have used cryptocurrency to launder money and receive dirty funds since the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source (Credit): Chainalysis