According to a new report by Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm, illicit cryptocurrency activity reached an all-time high in 2022.
Despite the tumultuous year the industry faced, the report states that the total cryptocurrency value received by illicit addresses reached $20.1 billion, an increase from $18 billion in 2021 due to sanctions targeted toward cryptocurrencies.
However, the report notes that the numbers are not final, as the measure of illicit transaction volume grows over time as the analysts identify new addresses associated with criminal activity.
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The report includes illicit activity, including transactions related to material such as human trafficking, ransomware, stolen funds, terrorism financing, scams, cybercriminal administrators, and dark net markets.
Yet, the report does not contain data on the lost funds from failed companies like FTX, Celsius, 3AC, and Terra, which are under investigation in various jurisdictions.
The fact that in early 2022, illicit addresses held at least $10 billion worth of cryptocurrency, which was also highlighted in the report. It is stated that the bulk of the total amount of cryptocurrency was also owned by specific wallets that are associated with cryptocurrency theft.
The report states that criminal abuse and illicit crypto activities create massive barriers to the mass adoption of crypto, as the restrictions and regulations are being imposed by governments constantly. The events of this year have made it clear that although blockchains are inherently transparent, the industry still has room for improvement in this respect, says the report.
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