Crypto Scams: During the Crisis, Business Goes On
Has this year’s cryptocurrency crash had the merit of depressing or even discouraging fraudsters? This is only partially the case, according to Chainalysis’ report for the first seven months of the year. Illegal cryptocurrency transactions (scams, shadow network, etc.) certainly fell by 15%, to almost $8 billion. But they fell by half as much as “legal” activity (-35%) which includes buying and selling cryptocurrencies on platforms. Illegal transactions represent only 0.2% of global cryptocurrency flows, but their damage amounts to billions of dollars.
Hacking, 58% increase to $1.9 billion in stolen cryptocurrencies, avoids crisis. Carried out like commando operations by states, especially North Korea, or hacker groups, these digital heists exploit vulnerabilities in the cryptosphere. After attacking platforms in their early days, hackers are targeting new weak links in the ecosystem. Especially decentralized finance or “bridges” that allow exchanges between different blockchains.