Report Reveals the Extent of Cryptocurrency Crime and Laundering


Staff member
Mar 3, 2018
According to a recent report on cryptocurrency money laundering from CipherTrace, "bad actors" stole or scammed about $1.7 billion US dollars of cryptocurrency in 2018. $950 million was stolen from "cryptocurrency exchanges an infrastructure," while "ICO exit scams, phony exchange hacks, and Ponzi schemes victimized investors and cryptocurrency users for almost three quarters of a billion dollars," and that only represents the incidents the firm could track. However, the report notes that these criminals are in a particular rush to launder their virtual money, as regulators have extensive plans to crack down on cryptocurrency crime in 2019 and 2020.

Whether it's theft by hackers or inside jobs like exit scams, criminals must launder all of these ill-gotten gains before they can spend those funds in the real economy. In addition, global gangs, terrorist groups, and cyber criminals must hide their money trails. These bad actors are clearly flocking to jurisdictions with weak AML and Know Your Customer (KYC)regimes, because in our Q3 report we published the results of research showing 97% of criminal bitcoin flows into unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges. While recognizing the tremendous potential for innovation provided by blockchain technology, this dark side of the cryptocurrency ecosystem is not lost on regulators. And 2018 saw major moves around the globe to rein in the Wild West aspect of these markets. By 2020 most modern economies will have deployed strict cryptocurrency anti-money laundering regulations.The global impacts of this pending legislation are being felt by the money launderers themselves. Those with US ties are choosing to comply, while those in money laundering havens and sanctioned countries continue to innovate.
Say it ain't so! Criminals still committing crime even with online currency!
Non-governmental cryptocurrency only exists to facilitate crime.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Come on guys... as if fiat and banks aren’t involved with such activities on a daily basis.

Where there’s money to be made, be it gold, silver, fiat, crypto, there will be people and businesses, big and small that will be scamming, washing and breaking laws.
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I read a credible analysis that indicated North Korea is responsible for a pretty significant chunk of this crime. State backed hacking is very difficult to counter.

Also, I wonder if bot net mining was included in this figure. My guess is no, and that's another possibly large sum of money.