Cryptocurrency Criminal Activity Decreased in 2020, Recent Study Finds




According to a recent study by Chainalysis, the share of cryptocurrency transactions associated with criminal activity fell sharply in 2020.

Scams, dark web sales, and ransomware attacks are the main sources of illicit transaction activities.



Declining criminal activity

According to the Chainalysis study, cryptocurrency-related criminal activity has fallen to 0.34% of global transaction volume, or roughly $ 10 billion. In 2019, criminal activity accounted for 2.1% of all transaction volume, or approximately $ 21.4 billion.

The study points out that scams were fewer in 2020, especially with the dismantling of the Chinese Ponzi PlusToken, which operated until 2019.

What types of crime are behind the 0.34% of transactions associated with illicit activities in 2020? As was the case in 2019, scams account for the majority of cryptocurrency crimes, accounting for 54% of illicit activity. Dark web sales and ransomware attacks come second and third, respectively.



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Put into perspective

The Chainalysis study once again twists the necks of prejudice. Indeed, illicit flows in Bitcoin (BTC) and in crypto-currencies represent a tiny part of the volume of transactions. Recent statements by Christine Lagarde, who calls for global regulation of Bitcoin, may come as a surprise if they are put into perspective. The President of the European Central Bank (ECB) had explained that Bitcoin had led to 'crazy business and totally reprehensible money laundering activities'.

The virulence of the subject perhaps demonstrates a certain ignorance of the subject and the figures. Indeed, the share of transactions in euros or dollars linked to criminal activities would be 3 to 5 times higher than transactions in Bitcoin.

Figures that must also be compared with the recent 'FinCEN' scandal of money laundering tolerated by several banking institutions. Thus, five large banks (JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, Bank of New York and HSBC) have validated more than $ 2,000 billion in suspicious transactions between 1999 and 2017.

What wrings the neck to the cliché, carried by the decentralized nature of cryptos and the absence of regulation on an international scale, according to which crypto-currencies are more 'criminal' than traditional currencies


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