Chainalysis reported that crypto-related criminal activities surpassed $24 billion in 2023

Chainalysis reported that crypto-related criminal activities surpassed $24 billion in 2023

The current figure, emphasized by Chainalysis, is approximately 40% lower than the 2022 figure, yet it remains provisional.

In 2023, illicit addresses received over $24 billion in cryptocurrency, making up 0.34% of the total transaction volume, according to Chainalysis, a leading blockchain intelligence firm. While this amount is nearly 40% less than the previous year, it's important to note that the figure is provisional, and the total is expected to rise as more illicit addresses are identified over time.

In contrast to the $24.2 billion estimate for 2023, the total for 2022 now stands at $39.6 billion. However, only $20.6 billion had been identified at the time of Chainalysis' report in the previous year, emphasizing the evolving nature of these statistics.

It's crucial to consider the role of transactions involving sanctioned entities, which contributed $14.9 billion (61.5%) to the total volume in 2023. This includes transactions from regular crypto users residing in sanctioned jurisdictions. For example, not all users of the Russia-based crypto exchange Garantex, sanctioned by U.S. and U.K. authorities, engage in money laundering or ransomware activities.

Chainalysis' report underscores the nuanced and dynamic landscape of crypto's involvement in illicit activities, emphasizing the challenges faced by regulatory and law enforcement bodies.

Stablecoins continued to dominate illicit transaction volume in 2023, maintaining the trend from the previous year. In contrast to the years 2018-2021 when bitcoin was the preferred choice among criminals, stablecoins took over in 2022, constituting around two-thirds of the volume, a pattern that persisted in 2023.

Notably, crypto scams and hacks experienced significant declines last year, decreasing by 29.2% and 54.3%, respectively, according to Chainalysis' research. On the flip side, ransomware and dark net activity witnessed an increase, showcasing the ever-evolving dynamics of illicit activities within the crypto space.