Illegal crypto transactions hit $20bn

TECHDIGEST – The value of illegal cryptocurrency transactions rose to $20.1bn in 2022, revealed Chainanalysis.

It stated that this was an 11.67 per cent increase from the $18bn that was recorded in 2021.

It explained that despite a market downturn, illicit transactions continued to gain ground in the crypto space.

It said, “Despite the market downturn, illicit transaction volume rose for the second consecutive year, hitting an all-time high of $20.1bn.

“We have to stress that this is a lower bound estimate — our measure of illicit transaction volume is sure to grow over time as we identify new addresses associated with illicit activity, and we have to keep in mind that this figure doesn’t capture proceeds from non-crypto native crime (e.g. conventional drug trafficking involving cryptocurrency as a mode of payment).

“For example, last year we published that we found $14 billion in illicit activity in 2021 — we’ve now raised that figure to $18 billion, mostly due to the discovery of new crypto scams. It’s also worth keeping in mind that 44 per cent of 2022’s illicit transaction volume came from activity associated with sanctioned entities, in a year when OFAC launched some of its most ambitious and difficult-to-enforce crypto sanctions yet.”

In its 2023 Crypto Crime Report, the firm stated that transaction volumes fell across all of the other more conventional categories of cryptocurrency-related crime, with the exception of stolen funds, which rose 7 per cent year-over-year.

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It added, “In general, less money in crypto overall tends to correlate with less money associated with crypto crime. Overall, the share of all cryptocurrency activity associated with illicit activity has risen for the first time since 2019, from 0.12 per cent in 2021 to 0.24 per cent in 2022.”

The blockchain analysis company further stated explained that 2022 was the year where large crypto firms like Celsius, Three Arrows Capital, and FTX imploded amid allegations of fraud.

A recent The PUNCH report revealed that the price of Bitcoin fell by 65.29 per cent in 2022. According to it, the price of BTC fell from $47,686.81 as of January 01, 2022, to $16,547.50 as of December 31, 2022, with the market capitalisation of BTC falling by 64.69 per cent from $902.10bn at the beginning of 2022 to $318.52bn at the end of the year.

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