Finnish and Russian Exchanges Receive Highest Amount of Funds from Criminal Sources: Report

News
Tue, 06/02/2020 - 14:25
Alex Dovbnya
Finland-based peer-to-peer crypto exchange LocalBitcoins remains a magnet for criminals, according to a CipherTrace report
Cover image via stock.adobe.com
Contents

According to a new report released by blockchain sleuth CipherTrace, Finnish and Russian cryptocurrency exchanges remain in the lead when it comes to the percentage of ill-gotten cryptocurrencies received last year (12.10 percent and 5.23 percent, respectively).


The U.K. is in a distant third place with a 0.63 percent share of tainted crypto, but it is still way ahead of the global average (0.17 percent).

image by ciphertrace.com

 

All roads lead to Hydra 

Helsinki-based LocalBitcoins, the most popular peer-to-peer exchange by trading volumes, accounts for 99 percent of all crime-related Bitcoin funds.   

Because of this, Finland has already topped the CipertTrace list for the third straight year.    

Meanwhile, Russian exchanges receive five percent of all their crypto directly from popular criminal sources. 

Back in 2018, the lion’s share of illicit funds received by U.K. exchanges came from Hydra, the largest darknet market place in Russia, but it was responsible for only 31.2 percent of funds in 2019.      

More than $1.4 bln in crypto losses

CiperTrace notes that 2020 is on track to be the most prolific year for cryptocurrency criminals after 2019 when almost $4.5 bln was lost to scammers, hackers, and thieves.     

Out of the $1.4 bln worth of crypto that has already been stolen in 2020, 98 percent of these ill-gotten funds come from Ponzi schemes and other frauds (close to $1.3 bln).

PlusToken-linked Chinese scam Wotoken, whose operators went on trial earlier this month, became the highlight of the most recent report after netting a whopping $1.1 bln.   

About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.

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