$25 billion: the weight of crypto-killer whales

2021, full service If 2021 rewarded cryptocurrency holders, he did so indiscriminately. In fact, according to the Chainalysis report on crypto-crime published on Wednesday, February 16, nearly $25 billion is accrued in wallets that the company considers “criminals.” However, if the explosion in the value of these wallets indicates a continuing intensive spread of criminal activity, it is important to qualify their development.

The difference between a good and bad wallet

In this study, only wallets containing more than a million dollars in cryptocurrency are taken into account. Then the portfolio is qualified by Chainalysis as criminal If 10% or more of its money comes from illegal addresses. For example, a $1 million portfolio of $100,000 worth of cryptocurrencies from the recent Multichain hack falls into the scarcity cycle.

Chainalysis has identified 4,068 criminal whales who own more than $25 billion in cryptocurrency. »

String analysis

There are 4,068 “criminal whales” but their effective representation is only 3.7% of all whales. The majority of these criminal addresses contain only a fairly small percentage of tokens from the illicit addresses.

Distribute all funds arising from illegal addresses. Source: Chainalysis

As the specialist notes, roughly a third of these wallets contain “only” 10-25% of the funds generated from illegal activities. Thus, the vast majority of blacklisted cryptocurrencies are accumulated in wallets that fully assume their illegal status.

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Explosion of numbers in 2021

Nearly $11 billion in total illicit funds were distributed across these wallets at the end of 2021. A comparison with 2020 gives an increase of more than 3 times All illicit money, nearly $8 billion more. However, although this number is huge, its value will inevitably inflate by 2021. In addition, the newly found bitcoins from the Bitfinex hack cut the total by 3.6 billion at the beginning of 2022.

Distribution of illicit assets by field

The share of stolen funds, such as the one in the Solana wormhole hack, accounts for the vast majority of illicit cryptocurrencies in circulation. However, it is interesting to note a significant increase in value that comes from the dark web market.

Source: Chainalysis

While that stolen money It is by far the most important part of the total value of illicit assets, it only representsQuarter of the sources of funds Received by the criminal governor. And the dark web market is the main resource in front of the widespread mass of scams of all kinds.

Contrary to what one might think from the numbers, the sustainability of wallets holding criminal money has begun to decline. Still according to the report String analysisWe note that the holding period for cryptocurrencies resulting from illegal activities has decreased significantly compared to previous years. he is becomes risky To keep it and everyone is trying to circulate it as quickly as possible. Who better than criminals to judge the effectiveness of police services?

Although the value of cryptocurrencies from illegal money is on the rise, criminals do not have a bright future. To date, conviction and refund initiatives are multiplying and are particularly effective. The bias that cryptocurrencies are the ideal vehicle for crime and money laundering is increasingly fading. Uninformed debates must now give way to the reality of facts. However, the means applied in the field of security are enormous and are increasing every year. It is greatly facilitated by the perfect traceability that the blockchain provides. However, illegal transactions will continue to exist in the coming years.

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