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    HomenewsChainalysis: Crypto Crime Declines in 2023 

    Chainalysis: Crypto Crime Declines in 2023 

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    In 2023, overall crypto crime declined but ransomware payments significantly increased, according to a report from Chainalysis.

    The year 2023 started on a positive note for the world of cryptocurrencies, with a notable reduction in crypto-related criminal activity, Chainalysis, a leading blockchain analysis company, reported. While crypto values are slowly climbing back from a challenging 2022 marked by several large-scale crypto business failures, we’re seeing a significant drop in the overall movement of cryptocurrencies to illegal operations. But there’s one area of concern that stands out – ransomware attacks. The increase in payments to ransomware criminals is alarming, making 2023 a contender for the year with the second-highest total ransomware earnings.

    Cryptocurrency values have been steadily rising, regaining their lost footing after a flurry of bankruptcies hit top-tier crypto businesses in 2022. These events led to a plunge in the prices of digital tokens, leaving investors nursing substantial financial losses.

    Chainalysis’ data reveals a sharp drop in the flow of cryptocurrencies to unlawful services. They tracked a 65% decline from $8 billion in the first half of 2022 to a relatively modest $2.8 billion in the same timeframe in 2023. Unlawful services include a wide range of criminal activities such as scams, ransomware operations, malware attacks, transactions in darknet markets, fraud shops, and even the distribution of child abuse material.

    Crypto Crime Exclusions and Scam Revenue Decline

    It’s important to note that Chainalysis’ figures do not cover transactions connected with entities that are under international sanctions. In 2022, these entities played a substantial role in cryptocurrency crimes, making up 44% of the all-time high of $20.1 billion, as revealed in Chainalysis’ January report.

    Interestingly, earnings from scams saw a decline. Normally, as crypto prices rise, the number of victims falling prey to scams increases due to heightened market enthusiasm and the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect. However, Chainalysis reported a drop in this trend. The only exception was a minor surge in scams involving impersonation, where fraudsters pretend to be trusted authority figures like law enforcement officers to trick victims into parting with their money.

    Surging Ransomware Attacks in 2023

    One disturbing trend in the first half of 2023 was the alarming increase in crypto payments made to ransomware attackers. The total payments to such criminals leaped up by $175.8 million from the same period last year, reaching a startling $449.1 million. If the current pattern continues, this year might end as one of the most profitable years for ransomware attackers, according to Chainalysis.

    The report highlighted an alarming rise in “big game hunting”, which refers to the practice of ransomware criminals targeting large, well-funded organizations. Alongside, there was a surge in the number of smaller attacks as well, marking a significant increase after a relatively peaceful 2022.

    Chainalysis concluded with a caveat that their data might not fully capture the extent of cryptocurrency’s role in all criminal activities. For example, the figures don’t account for instances where crypto earnings are a result of non-crypto crimes, such as when criminals use cryptocurrencies as the preferred mode of payment in drug trafficking.

    The post Chainalysis: Crypto Crime Declines in 2023  appeared first on Crypto Academy.

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