Blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis estimates that about $34 million of decentralized finance (DeFi) transactions were conducted by criminals.
Activity of Criminals Expected to Rise in 2021
As noted by the head of research at Chainalysis, Jacob Illum, the activity of criminals is expected to increase in 2021, and the total amount of illegal transactions with cryptoassets may exceed $34 million.
One contributing factor to this growth will be the work of analytical companies such as Chainalysis and Elliptic, which have not identified all criminal activity in 2020. They will likely discover additional fraudulent transactions this year.
In addition, cybercriminals have taken notice of DeFi smart contracts, which channel money into users’ wallets depending on the terms of the contract. There is no human control over transactions, and Illum claims that money laundering via DeFi will increase.
“The question remains whether the most popular platforms will be those whose administrators retain sufficient control to prevent criminal transactions,” Illum wrote.
Third, darknet markets like Televend are decentralized. Televend uses Telegram’s encrypted automated chatbots to connect shoppers with over 150,000 suppliers. Buyers place orders in the seller’s automated chat and then receive a BTC address generated by the bot.
“Televend gets a commission on every sale, but it never really touches money, so there is no central organization for law enforcement to track through blockchain analysis – it’s much easier to hide transactions this way,” Illum said.
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