Chainalysis’ Latest Report
The amount of cryptocurrency stolen by scammers in 2023 dropped significantly compared to the previous year, according to a recent report released by Chainalysis. The blockchain analytics company revealed that illicit revenue dropped by 54% in 2023.
Chainalysis also reported that stolen crypto only accounted for 0.35% of the total transactions recorded on the blockchain in 2023. Those transactions were worth $24.1 billion. By comparison, illegal transactions were valued at $39.4 billion in 2022, accounting for 0.43% of the total crypto transactions.
The Chainalysis blockchain analysts noted that 2022’s figure was higher largely because of the illegal transactions made by former FTX executives. The ex-leadership of the crypto exchange is believed to have misappropriated about $8.5 billion in customer funds. Last November, a jury comprising three men and nine women found Sam Bankman-Fried, the FTX founder, guilty of all charges prosecutors had leveled against him. The fallen crypto guru now awaits the judge’s decision on his sentencing, which is set for March 28th.
Notable Illegal Crypto Transactions in 2023
The Decentralized Finance market on the Optimism Network was targeted last August. At the time, cybercriminals made away with over 4,000 ETH, which was estimated to be worth $7.1 million. Two months later, the Canadian government revealed that citizens collectively lost more than $22 million in crypto scams.
Last November, the United States Department of Justice leveled money laundering charges against Fei Jiang, Zhong Shi Gao, and Naifeng Xu. The trio is said to have laundered nearly $10 million in crypto. If found guilty, Gao, Jiang, and Xu could face up to 30 years in prison.
In mid-November, stablecoin issuer Tether announced that it had tracked and frozen $220 million in USDT, which it suspected to be proceeds from human trafficking. Tether collaborated with the Department of Justice and Chainalysis to carry out the operation.
Bitcoin No Longer Popular Among Scammers, Chainalysis Says
Although Bitcoin is still the largest crypto by market cap, it is no longer popular among bad actors, who have now shifted their focus to stablecoins. Chainalysis reported that a significant percentage of illegal transactions were made in stablecoins last year.
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