Crypto analysis firm Chainalysis, in a recent report, noted that criminal cryptocurrency “whales” held more than $25 billion worth of assets last year. This represents about 3.7% of the amount held by all cryptocurrency whales.
However, Chainalysis only flagged those criminal crypto wallets with more than $1 million worth of digital assets who have received more than 10% of the funds through illicit methods. This means that the percentage of crypto assets in the hands of criminals could be higher when others are considered.
The report also noted that 4,068 of the wallets are in that category. However, about 1,361 of them have received almost 100% of their crypto assets through illegal means or are funded from illicit addresses.
The Majority Of The Funds Are From The Darknet
Chainalysis also indicated that the criminals get their source of funds mostly from the darknet, while funds obtained through ransomware, robbery, fraud, and scams are also included.
While it’s obvious that cryptocurrencies have several benefits, there are criticisms against them too, especially when it comes to security and high volatility.
The decentralized nature of digital assets makes it easier for criminals to steal and get away with them. As a result, several regulatory bodies are proposing measures to curb the increasing activities of cyber criminals and other illicit activities that target cryptocurrencies. The blockchain analysis firm also disclosed recently that about $8.billion worth of cryptocurrencies was laundered in 2021, which is 30% more than the amount in 2020.
Moscow And Saint Petersburg House Some Of The Criminals
Chainalysis also shared information regarding the geographical locations of most of the crypto criminals. The firm stated that Russia’s biggest cities, Saint Petersburg and Moscow, are home to most of the criminals. Other regions include Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Iran.
The firm added that the investigation of criminal whales allows regulators and government agencies to carry out successful seizures. It will enable them to improve on their fight against those who are making the cryptocurrency industry unsafe and too risky for investors, Chainalaysis reiterated.
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