Criminal Whales Have More Than $25 Billion In Cryptocurrency (Chainalysis Report)


The blockchain data company – Chainalysis – claimed that criminal whales represent 3.7% of all cryptocurrency whales. Those bad actors together own more than $25 billion in digital assets.

Nearly 4% of crypto whales are criminals

Cryptocurrencies have many advantages and numerous experts claim that they represent a financial revolution. However, Bitcoin and the altcoins also have their critics. These allege that drug traffickers, terrorists and money launderers use such assets for their illegal activities.

In line with the aforementioned accusation, New York-based blockchain analytics firm – Chainalysis – identified 4,068 criminal cryptocurrency whales (3.7% of all) who collectively own more than $25 billion in digital assets. The company explained that each entity owns more than $1 million worth of crypto.

It’s worth noting that most whales received a relatively small or significant portion of their total balance from illegal addresses. 1,374 took between 10% and 25% of their assets from illicit wallets, while 1,361 received between 90% and 100%.

Illegal funds received by criminal whales came from a variety of sources. The Darknet (37.7%) was in first place, while Scams (32.4%) was in second place. Stolen funds, fraud shops and ransomware rounded out the top five.

Chainalysis diagram, source: Chainalysis

In addition, Chainalysis analyzed where those criminals are located. It assigned UTC zones to the 768 whales whose portfolios have enough activity to make a strong estimate. 2, 3 and 4 are the zones with the most offenders. Interestingly, this area includes the largest cities of Russia – Moscow and Saint Petersburg. South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Iran also fall in those time zones.

Investigating criminal whales provides government agencies around the world with an important opportunity to continue their string of successful catches and bring the biggest beneficiaries of cryptocurrency-based crime to justice,” Chainalysis concluded.

Criminals will have laundered billions in crypto by 2021

Not long ago, the blockchain analytics firm disclosed that the total laundered value of cryptocurrency was $8.6 billion in 2021 – 30% more than in 2020.

Bad actors have transferred nearly 17% of those assets to decentralized financial applications, up from 2% the year before.

Chainalysis explained that these numbers only apply to funds that come from “cryptocurrency-native crime,” including Darknet market sales or ransomware attacks:

“It’s harder to measure how much fiat currency from offline crime — traditional drug trafficking, for example — is converted into cryptocurrency to be laundered. However, we know anecdotally that this is happening.”

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This Post Criminal Whales Hold Over $25 Billion in Cryptocurrency (Chainalysis Report) was first published at chainalysis-report/

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