Money laundering via Crypto leaps 30%
Chainalysis has reported that criminals were able to launder $US8.6 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021. This is a dramatic lift of 30 per cent from the previous year.
The appeal of crypto to criminals is clear. It’s difficult for authorities to claim and wallets and, in comparison to standard currency, easy to keep anonymous. Consequently, money laundering has always been a concern with crypto.
The good news is that there aren’t many crypto exchanges and storage services being used by criminals. Additionally, many of those services that are used are almost exclusively used by criminals. As the Chainalysis report notes, this makes it possible to strike a blow to the criminals by targeting their services.
“We saw an example of this last year, when the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two of the worst-offending money laundering services — Suex and Chatex — for accepting funds from ransomware operators, scammers, and other cybercriminals,” the report notes.
Money laundering only accounts for 0.05 per cent of crypto transactions. Meanwhile, in the U.S.A., it is estimated that as much as five per cent of fiat currency is laundered. Despite this, crypto has attracted an unsavoury reputation as a tool for criminals.
As law enforcement comes to understand blockchain technology and analysis, it will become more effective in tracking and prosecuting crypto-using criminals. As crypto becomes increasingly mainstream, we can expect to see law enforcement to put more energy into rapidly developing crypto skills.