Crypto-related crime levels skyrocketed to an all-time high in 2021 – but that statistic doesn’t paint a complete picture, according to Chainalysis.
In a new report, the analytics firm notes that illicit addresses received $14 billion worth of crypto in 2021, a new record and an increase of more than 79% from the $7.8 billion illicit addresses received in 2020.
However, total crypto transaction volume surged to $15.8 trillion in 2021, a whopping 567% increase from the previous year.
“In fact, with the growth of legitimate cryptocurrency usage far outpacing the growth of criminal usage, illicit activity’s share of cryptocurrency transaction volume has never been lower.
Transactions involving illicit addresses represented just 0.15% of cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2021 despite the raw value of illicit transaction volume reaching its highest level ever.”
The analytics firm does caution that the 0.15% figure will probably rise as more crypto crime is identified. The previous year’s figure, for example, was initially identified as 0.34% of 2020’s total crypto transaction volume, but it eventually almost doubled to 0.62%.
Scamming crypto revenue surged by 82% in 2021, reaching a total value of $7.8 billion, Chainalysis adds. More than $2.8 billion of that total was a result of rug pulls.
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