- Chainalysis reports revealed that $8.6 billion worth of crypto laundered in 2021.
- The laundering activity rose 30% in 2021.
- Hackers chose DeFi platforms, while scammers looks over crypto exchange for soft targets.
The report published on Chainalysis revealed that crypto money laundering shot up to 30% in comparison to 2020. The report says that approximately $8.6 billion worth of crypto was laundered in the entire 2021.
However, the value is still lower than the record-breaking mark of 2019, when an estimated $10.9 billion worth of crypto assets was laundered. Chainalysis suggests that around $33.4 billion worth of crypto has been laundered since 2017.
The value of money laundered in cryptocurrency is moving to centralized exchanges over time. Every year, nearly $2 trillion money is laundered in fiat currency through illegal activity such as drug smuggling, terrorism.
Also, it is a more uphill task for the government to find out suspects of fiat laundered than crypto, as every crypto transaction records on the blockchain.
“The biggest difference between fiat and cryptocurrency-based money laundering is that, due to the inherent transparency of blockchains, we can more easily trace how criminals move cryptocurrency between wallets and services in their efforts to convert their funds into cash.”
As per the cybersecurity analytics, the value of the laundered crypto deduce from “crypto-native crimes” in which “profits are virtually always derived in cryptocurrency rather than fiat currency.”
The analysis also implied that hackers use DeFi platforms as soft targets, while scammers prefer the crypto exchange to deceive users.
Chainalysis said, “Mining pools, high-risk exchanges, and mixers also saw substantial increases in value received from illicit addresses as well.”
Mainly, Altcoins accumulated a large piece of cake in laundering in crypto with 68% of those laundered went to the 20 largest deposit addresses. Ethereum, stablecoins, and Bitcoin hold 63%, 57%, and 19% respectively.
The earlier report published by Chainalysis revealed the loss of $14 Billion in online fraud and cyber theft in 2021. It also reported that the increase in stolen funds and scams can largely be due to the rise in DeFi.