According to the official Q2 2018 report by a California-based blockchain and cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace, more than $1.2 billion has been laundered through different cryptocurrency tools such as bitcoin tumblers as well as privacy-centric altcoins such as Zcash and Monero.
The report also stated that nearly three times as much cryptocurrency was stolen in the first half of 2018 than the entire previous year. The dubbed ‘dark market lords’ and hackers have found bitcoin tumblers and privacy coins to be the perfect tools for cryptocurrency laundering.
CipherTrace also observed that criminals made away with $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency from exchanges in 2017 and 2018, along with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and therefore registered a six-fold release in complaints regarding cryptocurrency crime.
The report also identifies criminals as “early adopters of the laundering technologies” and considers it unsurprising that the nature of Bitcoin propelled the rise in misuse. Thanks to the lack of identification, name or bank details, criminals can get away with a lot of (stolen) cryptocurrencies.
The tumblers, on the other hand, are used to spin addresses and make it harder for investigators to follow the transaction’s path. When it comes to the entire purpose of these money laundering services, the goal is to mix the funds of various clients and get away with as much as possible.
As a last note, the report showed that cryptocurrency-related ransoms are also on the rise. In 2017, over $58.3 was stolen in cyber-ransoms, mainly from the pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin as well as other related digital assets.
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