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Cryptocurrency Turnover Growing in Russia, Watchdog Reports to Putin

Cryptocurrency Turnover Growing in Russia, Watchdog Reports to PutinUse of cryptocurrencies is increasing in Russia, the head of the country’s financial watchdog has informed President Putin. The agency, Rosfinmonitoring, is following thousands of participants in digital asset transactions with a new blockchain analytics system, the official revealed. Volume of Crypto Transactions in Russia Almost $13 Billion, Financial Authority Says The turnover of crypto […]

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

Covalent CEO: There’s an ‘unresolved backlog’ of unfilled Web3 data roles

The demand for on-chain analysts is set to further increase with Web3 data outgrowing Web2 data over the next 20-30 years, says Covalent's Ganesh Swami.

Ganesh Swami, CEO of blockchain data aggregator Covalent says there continues to be an “intense demand” for on-chain data analysts, that is yet to be satisfied. 

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Swami said that analysts are in “intense demand” as there’s a “real need” for data experts to “make sense” of on-chain data, explaining:

“There is an unresolved backlog of unfilled data-driven roles. This demand is a testament to how eager blockchain and non-blockchain companies alike are to make sense of their own and competitors’ on-chain data.”

Swami explained that while the demand for on-chain data analysts has yet to eclipse their Web2 counterpart, the growth of stablecoin usage, lending, and decentralized finance (DeFi) products over the last 18 months has led to increasing demand for the job title.

Swami said similar to data analysts in traditional industries, on-chain data analysts can expect to analyze a company's “reach, retention and revenue” metrics, except, in this case, the intelligence would be found on-chain data across multiple blockchains.

For example, in the case of an NFT project, Swami explained that "reach" would look into “how many people mint your tokens” and "retention" would relate to “what is the average holding period for these tokens" which is important to know whether investors are using these for “quick flips” or “holding on to them” long term.

"Revenue" is about sales — with blockchain analysts able to determine whether the sales are “concentrated through a handful of sales or distributed across multiple collections," he explained. 

But the role doesn't e there. Swami said that “to make better protocols and better serve users,” on-chain analysts can “cross-target users for marketing purposes or for user acquisition purposes” by reviewing what’s happened on competitor protocols, as the blockchain leaves what Swami likes to call “historical breadcrumbs.”

Swami also predicted that “Web3 data will exceed Web2 data” at some point in the next 20-30 years, and that Web3 data analysis “will be much, much bigger than the current business intelligence market, which is currently worth hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Addressing the current deficit of on-chain analysts, Covalent is set to launch a four-week “Data Alchemist Boot-Camp” on Oct. 19, which aims to train over 1,000 individuals in on-chain analytics.

“The only prerequisite to joining our Data Alchemist Boot-Camp is a desire to learn about Web3; come with that, and we’ll pay you to learn,” said Swami.

Related: Six helpful tips for Web3 companies searching for top data analysts

Over the near term, however, Swami said on-chain analysts will likely find more job opportunities in Web2 companies which are entering Web3, rather than Web3 native projects themselves:

“It will be faster and better for a Web2 company with their hundreds of millions of players or users to add over Web3 experiences, and what we can see, immediately what we have a line of sight to is Web2 businesses, adding a Web3 experience.”

“Companies such as Adidas and Samsung also now have departments of metaverse data scientists and analysts to serve the dashboards and metrics management,” he added.

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

Bitcoin ‘tourists’ have been purged, only hodlers remain: Glassnode

Active addresses, entities, and transactions on the Bitcoin network are all moving sideways while the number of wallets holding at least some of the assets continues to reach new highs.

So-called “market tourists” are fleeing from Bitcoin (BTC), leaving only long-term investors holding and transacting in the top cryptocurrency, according to blockchain analytics firm Glassnode.

In its July 4 Week Onchain report, Glassnode analysts said June saw Bitcoin have one of its worst-performing months in 11 years, with a loss of 37.9%. It added activity on the Bitcoin network is at levels concurrent with the deepest part of the bear market in 2018 and 2019, writing:

“The Bitcoin network is approaching a state where almost all speculative entities, and market tourists have been completely purged from the asset.”

However, despite the almost complete purge of “tourists,” Glassnode noted significant accumulation levels, stating that the balances of shrimps — those holding less than 1 BTC, and whales — those with 1,000 to 5,000 BTC, were “increasing meaningfully.”

Shrimps, in particular, see the current Bitcoin prices as attractive and are accumulating it at a rate of almost 60,500 BTC per month, which Glassnode says is “the most aggressive rate in history,” equivalent to 0.32% of the BTC supply per month.

Explaining the purge of these tourist-type investors, Glassnode revealed that both the number of active addresses and entities have seen a downtrend since November 2021, implying new and existing investors alike are not interacting with the network.

Address activity has fallen from over 1 million daily active addresses in November 2021 to around 870,000 per day over the past week. Similarly, active entities, a collation of multiple addresses owned by the same person or institution, are now approximately 244,000 per day, which Glassnode says is around the “lower end of the ‘Low Activity’ channel typical of bear markets.”

“A retention of HODLers is more evident in this metric, as Active Entities is generally trending sideways, indicative of a stable base-load of users,” the analysts added.

Source: Glassnode

The growth of new entities has also dived to lows from the 2018 to 2019 bear market, with the user-base of Bitcoin hitting 7,000 daily net new entities.

The transaction count remains “stagnant and sideways,” which indicates a lack of new demand but also means that holders are being retained through the market conditions.

“Transactional demand can be seen to move sideways throughout the main body of the bear,” - Glassnode

Related: Institutional investors shorting Bitcoin made up 80% of weekly inflows

Driving home its point, Glassnode concluded that the number of addresses with a non-zero balance, those that hold at least some Bitcoin, continues to hit all-time-highs and is currently sitting at over 42.3 million addresses.

Past bear markets saw a purge of wallets when the price of Bitcoin collapsed. Still, with this metric indicating otherwise, Glassnode says it shows an “increasing level of resolve amongst the average Bitcoin participant.”

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

High-profile BAYC collector denies allegations of wrongdoing brought by DeFi detective

At the time of publication, it is not clear how the DeFi detective allegedly connected wallets with questionable activities to Jeff Huang.

On Thursday, ZachXBT, a cyber detective in the decentralized finance, or DeFi, realm, accused prominent Taiwanese musician and blockchain personality Jeff Huang, also known as Machi Big Brother, of misconduct in 10 different cryptocurrency projects. Machi Big Brother is known outside of Taiwan as an avid collector of Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible tokens and possessed a collection worth an estimated $8.26 million at the peak of the crypto bull market last year. 

Though numerous, the main spearhead of the allegations was directed toward Huang's alleged involvement in the whereabouts of 22,000 Ether (ETH) raised during the initial coin offering for tokens of Formosa Financial (FMF), a Taiwanese treasury management platform built for blockchain companies, in 2018.

After the ICO, FMF tokens quickly plunged in price, partly due to the severe cryptocurrency bear market at the time. Jeff Huang had served as an advisor for the company before eventually relinquishing his role. In 2019, Taiwanese news outlet Block Tempo reported that Formosa Financial merged with Philippines-based crypto exchange CEZEX and ICO crowdfund syndicate Katalyse.io. 

As told by ZachXBT, on June 22, 2018, just three weeks after the FMF ICO, two withdraws of 11,000 ETH were made out of Formosa Financial's treasury wallet. At the same time, multiple executives at Formosa Financial allegedly authorized a share buyback of the company.

There is significant uncertainty regarding the outflows of the said 22,000 ETH. ZachXBT alleged that the funds went first to George Hsieh, Formosa Financial's former CEO, and Jeff Huang, and then to wallet addresses allegedly linked to their associates. However, the DeFi detective did not back up their claims with evidence as to how they came to associate the said addresses with Jeff and George.

On-chain data can only confirm that two withdrawals of 11,000 ETH took place from what appears to be Formosa Financial treasury on June 22, 2018. To establish a connection between a blockchain transaction and a real-world recipient, either additional know-your-customer (KYC) information or that of doxing would be required. For example, such a link can be established by comparing the recipient's address with that of a Twitter Verified (where I.D. confirmation is generally required) user's profile displaying the said address. However, such evidence was not present in ZachXBT's analysis. 

Huang, whose public wallet came online only about two years ago, has denounced ZachXBT's allegations as misinformation. Cointelegraph was not able to independently verify Huang's alleged role in other projects as the DeFI detective's report did not present the needed KYC information linking wallet addresses to Huang. However, Huang did give the following remarks regarding Mithril and Cream Finance -- both of which are projects mentioned in ZachXBT's report, in an interview with local news outlet Heaven Raven earlier this year. The excerpt was translated by Cointelegraph: 

"In 2018, I started out with [decentralized social media platform] Mithril. We even rolled out community mining, encouraging users to upload pictures or videos of their mining rigs. But it was too ahead of the times, and additionally, we were ignorant about many details. As a result, the token price collapsed. It was a pity, but we gained much experience and then moved on to Cream Finance."

Cream Finance is a major DeFi lending platform that suffered a series of flash loan exploits last year. It has vowed to repay users with protocol fees until their lost principal have been recouped. Regarding his involvement in the project, Huang said: 

"At the time, we lost nearly $140 million during the exploit. But afterwards, we tried to reimburse the clients. And now Cream is steadily profitable. In November 2020, I passed on control of Cream Finance to Andre Cronje. After that, due to the coronavrius pandemic, I mostly stayed at home and began focusing on nonfungible tokens."

 Jeff Huang outright denied the allegations against him via a twitter post on Thursday stating, "This is misinformation. If he wasn't anon, I'd sue him for defamation."

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

Building a more open financial System: How Coinbase detects bad actors

By Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer

Tl;dr: At Coinbase, we take our responsibility to build a more open, accessible financial system very seriously. We’re deeply committed to our asset listing policies and processes, and we’ll continue to innovate as our dynamic space evolves.

A few weeks ago, we shared concerns about purchases of certain assets right before we announced they were being considered for listing on Coinbase — possibly using insider information. We take this issue very seriously and therefore wanted to share more about our efforts in this space.

The blockchain fundamentally drives greater transparency in financial transactions

First, it’s important to understand that tracking and disrupting bad actors using crypto is far more effective than if they were using traditional fiat currencies. This isn’t to say that it’s easy, but we do have an advantage because crypto transactions are recorded on a permanent and public blockchain, which gives our investigation teams — along with the public and law enforcement — visibility into the details of different transactions. With crypto, it’s possible to trace and map transactions across users and exchanges — creating a fuller picture of what happened with any given trade, and making it easier to identify things that look like possible market manipulation or trades using material nonpublic information.

We have an exceptional team dedicated to preventing and identifying financial crimes

We have more than a decade of experience tracking and disrupting illegal activity, and have built expert teams to support these efforts along the way, including many with substantial experience in the public and private sector. In addition to our Security, Trade Surveillance, Global Investigations, and Special Investigations teams, we have a dedicated Financial Crimes Legal team. This team is led and staffed by multiple former federal criminal prosecutors and overseen by a former federal judge. Many of these former prosecutors have been part of some of the largest cryptocurrency cases in history, and are charged with making sure we’re doing everything we can to detect and disrupt bad actors.

Frontrunning can happen through technical or human means


The primary way we’ve seen information about possible asset listings become public before any announcement is through technical signals. For example, sometimes before onboarding an asset, we have to test it in ways that show up on the blockchain. These signals are not obvious to most, but are nevertheless accessible to all and may be detected if someone is looking hard enough for it, by examining on-chain data. That’s why we take steps to minimize this type of risk, including:

  • Announcing planned asset launches once a decision has been made to list an asset, but before key technical integration work begins, so everyone has access to the same information.
  • Exploring new ways of integrating and testing asset launches (including off-chain sandbox testing).
  • Building and deploying industry-first analysis tools to test our systems using a wide range of techniques based on observed real-world behavior.
  • Using a variety of best-in-class security tools to monitor and control access to sensitive listing information.

Human Sharing/Frontrunning

Information can obviously get out when people share it. Coinbase has gone above and beyond what a traditional financial institution can do to track and address this kind of bad behavior:

  • Our Trade Surveillance and other teams leverage the public blockchain to detect prohibited or suspicious transactions and then trace those funds across wallets, users, and exchanges (in a way traditional finance can’t) to see who profited and understand their connections.
  • We mandate that all employees trade crypto only on Coinbase’s trading platforms (where the asset is supported) so we can look out for prohibited trading activities.

In addition to Trade Surveillance, we also have more than 50 employees across various teams supporting the detection and prevention of illicit activity and misconduct, both on our platform and within the broader crypto ecosystem.

As we’ve stated multiple times, if an investigation finds that a Coinbase employee was involved in misuse of company information related to asset listings, we will not hesitate to terminate them — and, when appropriate, refer them to relevant law enforcement authorities.

We measure impact to drive accountability

It takes time to notice the effect of some of these changes, but we’re already seeing positive early indications of their impact on new asset launches.


To us, success is all market participants trading on the same information. That’s our goal. Crypto is a dynamic environment, so we are continually looking for additional ways to protect the confidentiality of information about our asset listings.

That’s why steps like these are so important. And while there’s always more work to do, I’m confident that we have the teams, resources, and experience to make Coinbase the most innovative and trusted way for people everywhere to access the cryptoeconomy.

Building a more open financial System: How Coinbase detects bad actors was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

Hacker bungles DeFi exploit: Leaves stolen $1M in contract set to self destruct

A hacker apparently so thrilled by a successful theft left behind over $1 million in a smart contract that was set to destruct, permanently ensuring the crypto could never be moved.

In a rare comedic bungle among DeFi exploits, an attacker has fumbled their heist at the finish line leaving behind over $1 million in stolen crypto.

Just after 8AM UTC on Thursday April 21st, blockchain security and analytics firm BlockSec shared it had detected an attack on a little known DeFi lending protocol called Zeed, which styles itself a “decentralized financial integrated ecosystem”.

The attacker exploited a vulnerability in the way the protocol distributes rewards, allowing them to mint extra tokens which were then sold, crashing the price to zero, but netting just over $1 million for the exploiter.

Blockchain analytics firm PeckShield noted the stolen crypto was transferred to an “attack contract”, a smart contract which automatically and quickly executes the found exploit.

However the attacker was apparently so excited by their successful heist that they forgot to transfer over $1 million worth of stolen crypto out of their attack contract before they set it to self-destruct, permanently and irreversibly ensuring the funds can never be moved.

Using a blockchain scanner to view the attack contract address shows that $1,041,237.57 worth of BSC-USD Binance-Peg token is forever stuck in the contract and the successful self-destruction of the contract was confirmed at 7:15AM UTC on April 21.

Related: Truth or fiction? Popular former hacker claims to have $7B in BTC

It's one of the more bizarre turns of events since the Polygon hacker did an “Ask Me Anything” using embedded messages on Ethereum(ETH) transactions after stealing $612 million from the protocol in August 2021. The question and answer session revealed the attacker hacked “for fun” and thought “cross-chain hacking is hot.”

This latest hack is on the smaller end regarding the amount stolen, and other DeFi protocol hacks have seen hundreds of millions siphoned off as with the recent Ronin bridge hack where attackers made off with over $600 million.

Other notable DeFi exploits include the $80 million worth of crypto stolen from Qubit Finance in January where attackers tricked the protocol into believing they had deposited collateral, allowing them to mint an asset representing a bridged crypto.

DeFi marketplace Deus Finance was exploited in March when hackers manipulated the price feed of a pair of stablecoins resulting in the insolvency of user funds, netting the hackers over $3 million.

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

Part 3 — Blockchain heuristics through time

Part 3 — Blockchain heuristics through time

In our last post we introduced the cornerstone of scaling up blockchain analysis, commonspend, and its pitfalls. In this blog post we’ll explore more complex and novel blockchain analysis scaling methods, their drawbacks and why time is a critical feature of blockchain analytics.

1. Change prediction

Change prediction is the second most commonly applied UTXO heuristic. It aims to predict which receiving address is controlled by the sender. A hallmark of UTXO blockchains is that when addresses transact, they move all outputs. The surplus amount is normally returned to the sender via a change address.

Consider the transaction below and try spotting the change address that belongs to the sender:

The change address is likely 374jbPUojy5pbmpjLGk8eS413Az4YyzBq6. Why? In this case, prediction logic relies on the fact that the above address is in the same address format as the input addresses (P2SH format, where sender’s addresses start with a “3”).

Among other factors, rounded amounts (i.e. 0.05 or 0.1 BTC) are often recognized as the actual send, with the rest being redirected to the change address. This suggests that change prediction relies not only on technical indicators, but also on elements of human behavior, like our affinity for rounded numbers.

Naturally, a more liberal change prediction logic that takes into account multiple variables in favor of a desired outcome can potentially lead to misattribution and mis-clustering. In particular, blockchain analytics tools can inadvertently fall into the trap of unsupervised change prediction — that’s why it is vital for blockchain investigators to be mindful of the limitations posed by this approach.

2. Change prediction, not a fact

Consider a more challenging example:

We have legacy addresses (starting with a “1”) sending on to two other legacy addresses. So which one is the change address?

The best way to figure out which address is the change address is to look at how each address spends BTC onwards. Usually output addresses receiving rounded amounts are not change addresses — but this could be wrong. So let’s just place our bet on the latter output address:

1Hs6XkSpuLguqaiKwYULH4VZ9cEkHMbsRJ — its next transction is as follows:

At first glance, this sort of looks like the pattern we saw in a previous transaction. The only aspect that stands out is a significant decrease in fees.

Looking at a second output address — 12Y8szPTeVzupEfe5RXs84fRsJJZBVhTgG — we see that its next transaction is distinct from the transaction it previously made:

The fees also look low compared to our initial transaction. And we notice that both our output addresses’ next transactions involve the original 1Hs6XkSpuLguqaiKwYULH4VZ9cEkHMbsRJ address in their outputs. Following the address’s next transaction we arrive to output #1’s next transaction.

To simplify, let’s visualize:

The diamonds in the above graph represent transactions — whereas the circles represent addresses. Notice that input address 15sMm6Rkf9hzz6ZtrrdhxdWZ8jGW12gQ93 commonspends in a transaction with 12Y8szPTeVzupEfe5RXs84fRsJJZBVhTgG. Therefore, output address #2 is in fact our change address!

This example illustrates how complicated change prediction can become leading to erroneous results.

3. Bespoke heuristics are still heuristics

Entities that attempt to preserve privacy in very public blockchains, such as exchanges and dark markets, may go out of their way to create their own wallet infrastructure that makes it difficult for blockchain investigators to identify how they operate. For these cases, blockchain analytics companies will create bespoke heuristics for these particular entities.

Still, no heuristics are foolproof. Parameters and limitations for blockchain analysis depend on how restrictive the scope is — or how much room is left for interpretation. A conservative approach would dictate not attributing anything that cannot be determined with close to 100% certainty; a liberal approach would allow wider attribution, at the cost of expanding the potential margin of error.

This also applies to any bespoke heuristic that is constructed with specific blockchain entities in mind. This is illustrated well by the above mentioned coinjoin Wasabi example. Although the transaction in question highly likely to belongs to Wasabi wallet, we need to ask ourselves what this transaction is displaying:

Most likely this transaction is displaying Wasabi addresses commonspending with other users’ addresses. As complexity increases, the accuracy of attribution decreases — especially if we consider that a user might own one or more addresses in this transaction.

Every blockchain analytics tool will have a different set of parameters and rely on different heuristics. That is why differences between clusters displayed by various tools are so common — for example, the SilkRoad cluster will each time look differently, depending on the blockchain analytics software used to conduct its analysis.

In fact, even with only comonspend applied, we see how the block explorers CryptoID and WalletExplorer both show different sizes of the Local Bitcoins cluster.

4. In blockchain analytics the future can impact the past

Einstein would probably admire blockchains, because they are one of the few examples of where the future can change the past — at least from an attribution perspective. For example, 14FUfzAjb91i7HsvuDGwjuStwhoaWLpGbh received various transactions from a P2P service provider between August and mid-September 2021. So we might think that this address could belong to an unhosted wallet.

But if we check on that address a couple days later on September 30, 3021, we suddenly notice that it’s been tagged as Unicc, a carding shop. What happened? This address commonspent 15 days later with an address we already knew belonged to Unicc — making it a part of the Unicc cluster.

This is a simple example, but you can imagine from a Compliance and market intelligence perspective that these after-the-fact attributions can have some ripple effects.


Blockchain analytics is an increasingly complex field of expertise. It is not as straightforward as it seems and the difficulty is compounded by the fact that conclusions are drawn not only from blockchain, but also from external sources that are often ambiguous.

It is not possible to call blockchain analytics science — after all, scientific experiments can be replicated by unrelated parties who, by following a set scientific methodology, will come to the same conclusions. In blockchain analytics even the ground truth can have multiple facades, meanings and interpretations.

Certainty of attribution is almost scarce and because multiple parties are relying on different tools for conducting transaction tracing on blockchains, it can sometimes yield dramatically different results. That is why educational efforts in this area should continuously emphasize that even the most robust, tooled-up methodologies are prone to errors.

Nothing is infallible — after all, blockchain analytics is more art than science.

Part 3 — Blockchain heuristics through time was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

New York state ramps up blockchain monitoring to enforce sanctions

Blockchain analytics will help ensure that NY-licensed companies don’t send money to sanctioned Russians.

New York state’s efforts to enforce sanctions against Russia have ramped up a gear with the Department of Financial Services, or DFS, expediting the procurement of additional blockchain analytics technology.

According to a statement released Wednesday, the department will use the technology to help detect exposure to Russian individuals and entities subject to federal sanctions, by the virtual currency businesses licensed by the department.

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an executive order Feb. 27 directing state agencies to divest from Russian institutions and companies, as well as entities that provide them with support. She said:

“New York is proudly home to the nation's largest Ukrainian population and we will use our technological assets to protect our people and show Russia that we will hold them accountable."

New York requires individuals and companies engaged in a number of activities with virtual currency to apply for a BitLicense. The DFS is now “assessing a number of technology tools and service providers to augment current supervisory capabilities.” No other details were given about the analytics technology the state is looking for.

The DFS held a techsprint — an “intense problem-solving sessions meant to facilitate innovation, collaboration and creative solutions to difficult problems” — to design a digital regulatory reporting mechanism for virtual currency companies in March 2021. It was noted at the time that event organizers were working with some of the participants to advance the development of their solutions.

Blockchain analysis is typically used to assure anti-money laundering compliance and customer protection. The process often combines the tracing of transfers on the blockchain with information obtained off-chain to understand transactions.

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

4% of crypto whales are criminals and they have $25B between them: Chainalysis

The report defines criminal whales as private wallets that hold more than $1 million worth of crypto with more than 10% of their balances coming from illicit addresses.

Chainalysis data shows that 4068 criminal whales (roughly 4% of all whales) are hodling more than $25 billion worth of cryptocurrency between them.

The blockchain analytics firm defines criminal whales as any private wallet that holds more than $1 million worth of crypto with over 10% of the funds received from illicit addresses tied to activity such as scams, fraud and malware.

The data is from the “Criminal Balances” section of the Crypto Crime Report that explores criminal activity on the blockchain over 2021 and early 2022. The wide-ranging report also covers topics such as Ransomware, Malware, Darknet markets and NFT related crime.

“Overall, Chainalysis has identified 4,068 criminal whales holding over $25 billion worth of cryptocurrency. Criminal whales represent 3.7% of all cryptocurrency whales — that is, private wallets holding over $1 million worth of cryptocurrency,” the report reads.

The data showed that 1,374 whales had received between 10% and 25% of their balance from nefarious sources, while 1,361 had between 90% and 100% . Those with balances between 25% and 90% of illicit funds totaled 1,333 criminal whales.

Percentage of whale balance via illicit addresses: Chainalysis

“Whereas stolen funds dominate overall criminal balances, darknet markets are the biggest source of illicit funds sent to criminal whales, followed by scams second and stolen funds third,” the report read.

Related: Chainalysis report finds most NFT wash traders unprofitable

Illicit transaction activity

In terms of illicit transaction activity, the report revealed that criminal addresses had received more than $14 billion in 2021, marking a whopping 79% increase compared to the $7.8 million seen in 2020.

Value recieved via type of crypto crime: Chainalysis

The lion's share of that $14 billion figure last year was attributed to scamming which increased by 82% year-over-year to account for $7.8 billion. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) rug pulls in particular were highlighted as a key source of scamming at $2.8 billion:

“We should note that roughly 90% of the total value lost to rug pulls in 2021 can be attributed to one fraudulent centralized exchange, Thodex, whose CEO disappeared soon after the exchange halted users’ ability to withdraw funds.”

Theft also increased by 516% to account for $3.2 billion worth of illicit transaction activity, with the DeFi sector once again being an area of concern.

On the positive side, Chainalysis pointed out that all transaction volume in USD value in 2021 totaled around $15.8 trillion, with illicit addresses accounting for a mere 0.15% of that figure, down from 0.34% the year prior.

“Crime is becoming a smaller and smaller part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Law enforcement’s ability to combat cryptocurrency-based crime is also evolving. We’ve seen several examples of this throughout 2021, from the CFTC filing charges against several investment scams, to the FBI’s takedown of the prolific REvil ransomware strain, to OFAC’s sanctioning of Suex and Chatex,” the report said.

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say

Blockchain.com Raises $300 Million, Firm’s Post-Money Valuation Now $5.2 Billion

Blockchain.com Raises 0 Million, Firm’s Post-Money Valuation Now .2 BillionThe crypto financial services provider Blockchain.com revealed on Wednesday that the company has raised $300 million in a financing round. Blockchain.com’s latest funding round follows the $120 million raise the company obtained last month. Blockchain.com Is Now Valued at $5.2 Billion On March 24, Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith announced that the company was pleased to […]

‘Surgical removal’ of crypto will only weaken USD dominance, commentators say