$25 billion worth of cryptocurrency was held by cybercriminals in 2021: Report
Cryptocurrency-based criminal balances increased in 2021, according to the Chainalysis Crypto Crime Report 2022. The report highlights that at the end of 2021, cybercriminals accounted for $11 billion in fraud from illicit sources, up from $3 billion of dollars, at the same time as the previous year. In 2021, stolen funds accounted for 93% of all criminal balances at $9.8 billion, followed by darknet market funds at $448 million, scams at $192 million, fraud stores at $66 million. dollars and $30 million ransomware. Additionally, criminal balances increased from $6.6 billion in July to $14.8 billion in October.
Information from the report states that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) seized $2.3 million worth of cryptocurrency from DarkSide ransomware operators who were held responsible for the 2021 Colonial Pipeline attack. , the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) seized over $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2021, while London’s Metropolitan Service seized £180 million worth of cryptocurrency from of a suspected money launderer for the same year. In February 2022, the DOJ seized $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency that had ties to the 2016 Bitfinex hack.
According to data from the report, the time to liquidate funds for darknet market sellers, admins and illicit wallets dropped by 75% in 2021. Meanwhile, ransomware operators held their funds for an average period of 65 days before liquidation.
The report identified that cybercriminals each held $1 million or more in cryptocurrency and received 10% of their funds from illicit addresses in 2021. Overall, Chainalysis reported that 4,068 cybercriminals held more than $25 billion. of cryptocurrency dollars. The group accounted for 3.7% of all cryptocurrency-based criminals, or $1 million worth of cryptocurrency in private wallets. While 1,374 cybercriminals received between 10 and 25% of their illicit address funds, 1,361 cybercriminals received between 90 and 100% of their total illicit address balance.
(With information from Chainalysis Crypto Crime Report, 2022)