25 Jan 2021

Illicit activity in crypto drops to 0.34%

One of the most common misunderstandings about bitcoin is its use in illicit activity. A new report shows that cryptocurrency crime is falling.
The market-leading blockchain analytics firm, Chainalysis, published a new report about cryptocurrency crime last week. This was published on the same day as the new U.S. Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, claimed that bitcoin was mainly used for illicit financing, which shows the lack of knowledge that is still present, even from regulators. In 2020, the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity fell to just 0.34% or $10 billion in transaction volume. This is much lower than 2019, where the PlusToken scam was a large contributor to the numbers. Scams and darknet markets are the main categories. Scams made up the majority of all cryptocurrency-related crime at 54% of illicit activity, representing roughly $2.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency received. The big story for cryptocurrency-based crime in 2020 is ransomware, with a 311% increase from 2019. This is most likely related to new vulnerabilities for many organizations with the new home office situation.
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