According to a recent study by Chainalysis, the proportion of cryptocurrency transactions related to criminal activity fell sharply in 2020.
Fraud, dark web sales, and ransomware attacks are the main causes of illegal transaction activity.
Criminal activity in decline
According to the Chainalysis study, criminal activity related to cryptocurrencies fell to 0.34% of global transaction volume, or around $ 10 billion. In 2019, criminal activity accounted for 2.1% of total transaction volume, or approximately $ 21.4 billion.
The study suggests that fraud cases were lower in 2020, especially with the mining of the Chinese Ponzi PlusToken, which was in operation until 2019.
What types of crime are behind the 0.34% of transactions related to illegal activities in 2020? As in 2019, scams make up the majority of cryptocurrency crimes and account for 54% of illegal activity. Dark web sales and ransomware attacks rank second and third.
The chain analysis turns the prejudices again. Indeed, illicit flows in Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies make up a tiny fraction of the volume of transactions. Christine Lagarde’s latest statements calling for global Bitcoin regulation could come as a surprise if put into perspective. The President of the European Central Bank (ECB) had stated that Bitcoin had led to « insane deals and totally reprehensible money laundering activities ».
The virulence of the subject may indicate a certain ignorance of the subject and the characters. In fact, the proportion of transactions in euros or dollars associated with criminal activity would be three to five times higher than that of transactions in Bitcoin.
Numbers that also have to be compared with the recent « FinCEN » scandal of money laundering, which is tolerated by several banking institutions. Five major banks (JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, Bank of New York and HSBC) validated suspicious transactions worth more than $ 2,000 billion between 1999 and 2017.
What tears the cliché’s throat, borne by the decentralization of cryptos and the lack of regulation at the international level, according to which crypto currencies are more « criminal » than traditional currencies
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