Bitcoin-related criminal activity is at an all-time high, up 60% and reaching $ 601 million
Bitcoin prices, shopping and trading are down, but cryptocurrency-related criminal activity is at an all-time high, the New York Times (NYT) reported Tuesday (January 28).
The author of Digital Gold said that despite the police closing large black markets on the Web, criminals again used Bitcoin on the black web.
Web drug sales are particularly high, up 60% and reach $ 601 million from January to March 2019, according to blockchain analysis firm and government adviser Chainalysis. Bitcoin is also pivotal in the increase in ransomware network attacks.
NEW: While most of the Bitcoin economy has been slumping in recent months, illegal activity continued to rise and hit an all-time high, new data shows. In the final months of ’19, online black markets attracted $600 million in Bitcoin — up 60% from ’18. https://t.co/ICUDDRYssi pic.twitter.com/lKxE3ZA4XQ
— Nathaniel Popper (@nathanielpopper) January 28, 2020
The growing number of illegal transactions underscores the difficulties Bitcoin faces when overcoming its reputation as a refuge for the scoundrels. Even Wall Street organizations have started buying and selling digital tokens.
The illegal activity covers 1 percent of all Bitcoin transactions, but this number is almost double that of 2018. Chainalysis’s new cryptocurrency crime report points out that criminal activity is immune to price fluctuations. However, data for ransomware, tax evasion and money laundering can be underestimated because it is difficult to track.
Bitcoin is popular in illegal activities
In the recent growth of so-called ransomware attacks, Bitcoin plays an important role. In it, hackers steal or encrypt computer files and refuse to return them unless paid with Bitcoin.
The long-term success of the illicit activity promoted by Bitcoin also points to the struggles the authorities face in preventing new types of bad behavior that cryptocurrencies have helped enable.
Among currency speculators and illegal operators, Bitcoin is still popular, accounting for only 1 percent of all Bitcoin transactions. But that number nearly doubled from the previous year.
Popper said Bitcoin used in all legal areas – such as buying and selling legal items, trading BTC on exchanges and even the value of BTC – has dropped. However, the purchase of illegal goods and services has reached a new level.
Calvin Shivers, assistant director of the F.B.I’s crime investigation department, told NYT that the crime on the dark web site is pervasive, but many resources are being exploited to solve the problem.
The Chainalysis report also shows that there are more victims of Bitcoin scammers in 2019 compared to the previous year. In 2019, they managed to make $ 3.5 billion, triple that of 2018.
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