Cryptocurrency Illicit Transactions Drop to $24 Billion in 2023, Chainalysis Reports

Graphical representation showing the decline in illicit cryptocurrency transactions to $24.2 billion in 2023, as reported by Chainalysis.

Chainalysis Report: A Decline in Illicit Crypto Transactions

Crypto research firm Chainalysis unveils its latest findings, indicating a notable decrease in illicit cryptocurrency transactions in 2023. The reported $24.2 billion represents a 40% drop from the estimated $39.6 billion in 2022. Chainalysis emphasizes the challenges in distinguishing crypto-related crimes and expects the figure to increase as more illicit addresses are identified.

Sanctions and Illicit Transaction Volume

The report highlights that sanctioned entities and jurisdictions accounted for $14.9 billion of the total illicit transaction volume in 2023, constituting 61.5% of measured illicit transactions. This insight underscores the impact of regulatory measures on illicit activities within the cryptocurrency space.

Evolution in Crypto Choice: Stablecoins Surpass Bitcoin

While Bitcoin dominated cybercriminal transactions in 2021, stablecoins have become the preferred choice for illicit activities. The report notes a shift in the majority of illicit transaction volume toward stablecoins, aligning with the overall growth of stablecoins in both legal and illicit spheres.

Decline in Crypto Scamming and Hacking Revenues

Chainalysis reports a significant decline in both crypto scamming and hacking revenues in 2023. Illicit revenue from scams is down by 29.2%, while hacking revenue sees a notable 54.3% reduction. The report attributes the decline in hacking revenue to improved security practices, particularly in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.


UN Report Highlights USDT on Tron Blockchain in Money Laundering

The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime points to the USDT stablecoin on the Tron blockchain as a key tool for money laundering in Southeast Asia. The report emphasizes the stability, transaction anonymity, and low fees associated with USDT, raising concerns about its role in illicit financial activities.

Global Regulatory Response to Cryptocurrency Crimes

The article discusses the global regulatory response to cryptocurrency crimes, including the U.S.’s crackdown on crypto firms failing to block and report illicit money flows. The report highlights the conviction of the Binance founder for breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws and the UN’s assertion that unregulated crypto exchanges play a foundational role in organized crime’s financial architecture in Southeast Asia.

Positive Development: Decline in Crypto Hack Revenue

Blockchain security firm CertiK reports a positive development in blockchain security, noting a decline of over 51% in crypto hack revenue in 2023. This positive trend, according to CertiK co-founder Ronghui Gu, reflects improved security practices within the blockchain space.

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