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In 2021, the volume of cryptocurrencies on criminal accounts reached record highs

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In 2021, the volume of cryptocurrencies on criminal accounts reached record highs
Analytical service Chainalysis has released a report according to which in 2021 the volume of “dirty” cryptocurrency on crypto wallets around the world increased to $11 billion.

Among the criminal crypto-means, the company's analysts include digital currency, which, in their opinion, is located on the addresses of illegal entities. Such entities include administrators of darknet marketplaces, as well as accounts where funds were transferred as a result of hacking or theft.

In 2021, the volume of cryptocurrencies on criminal accounts reached record highs


According to the service, as of December last year, stolen funds accounted for 93% of all illegal balances, which equals $9.8 billion. The second place is occupied by the shadow Internet market funds - $448 million. Closes the top three funds received as a result of fraudulent activities - $ 192 million.

The balance sheets of cybercriminals have been stormy throughout the year. So, in July, they had a minimum of $6.6 billion, and in October the amount reached a maximum of $14.8 billion. Falling balances may occur due to confiscation of funds. For example, a big drop occurred in February 2022, when the US Department of Justice seized $3.6 billion worth of bitcoins that were stolen during the Bitfinex hack in 2016. As of February 9, there are about $5 billion in illegal accounts.



In total, Chainalysis identified 4,068 large holders (the so-called "whales" of private wallets with a currency balance of more than a million dollars) of criminal crypto accounts holding over $25 billion worth of bitcoins. This is only 3.7% of all "whales".



In the process of analysis, experts also determined, using time zones, the approximate location of the criminal "whales". As a result, it turned out that most of these wallet holders are located in the UTC +1, +2, +3, +4, -9 time zones. These belts also include some territories of Russia, in particular, large cities - Moscow and St. Petersburg. At the same time, Chainalysis notes that time zones display only longitude, so the “whales” can be located in other countries, for example, in South Africa, Saudi Arabia or Iran.



Among other things, data analysis showed that the authorities began to carry out more confiscations of cryptocurrencies. The United States Internal Revenue Service alone took over $3.5 billion in 2021.

A previous report by Chainalysis analysts showed that approximately $10 billion in transfers were linked to illegal activities in 2020.
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