Nearly $9bn Laundered in Cryptocurrency in 2021
Threat actors laundered $8.6bn in cryptocurrency last year, although the real figure could be much higher when “non-crypto” crimes are included, according to Chainalysis.
The firm provides analysis and investigation software to help shine a light on the murky world of blockchains and decentralized finance (DeFi).
Findings from an upcoming report released yesterday revealed a 30% year-on-year increase in the value associated with money laundering activity via cryptocurrency in 2021.
However, that’s not the whole story.
“We also need to note that these numbers only account for funds derived from ‘cryptocurrency-native’ crime, meaning cyber-criminal activity such as darknet market sales or ransomware attacks in which profits are virtually always derived in cryptocurrency rather than fiat currency,” the firm explained.
“It’s more difficult to measure how much fiat currency derived from offline crime – traditional drug trafficking, for example – is converted into cryptocurrency to be laundered. However, we know anecdotally this is happening.”
Despite its reputation for being something of a Wild West, it’s easier to monitor money laundering efforts where cryptocurrency is involved because of the transparent nature of blockchains.
To that end, DeFi protocols received the majority of illicit funds last year, the first