Cryptocurrency crime soared in 2021 as illegal addresses linked to criminal activity amassed $14 billion in digital currencies.
This represents a 79% jump from $7.8 billion in 2020. The report found that the increase in decentralized finance played a major role in the increase in stolen funds and fraud.
According to Chainalysis, the illicit activities’ share of the total crypto transaction is pegged at 0.5% in 2021.
The company noted that there is evidence that this number could increase as it identifies and integrates more addresses associated with illegal transactions.
“Criminal abuse of cryptocurrency creates huge impediments for continued adoption, heightens the likelihood of restrictions being imposed by governments, and worst of all victimizes innocent people around the world,” Chainalysis said.
Kim Grauer, Head of Research at Chainalysis, explained the rise in cryptocurrency-related crime: “The increase in DeFi-related crime is an example of how criminals often exploit new technologies. When DeFi started to grow this year, we saw large increases in DeFi protocols being used to launder money as well as DeFi protocols being the actual victims of crimes such as hacking.”
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.