Chainalysis Adds More ERC-20 Tokens to Crypto Sleuthing Service

Chainalysis' expansion brings its compliance and tracking software to a larger swath of ERC-20 tokens.

Oct 3, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:31 a.m. UTC

Blockchain investigations firm Chainalysis has added support for 10 more ERC-20 tokens, expanding the reach of its anti-money laundering tracking service.

New coins include Basic Attention Token (BAT), OmiseGO (OMG), Dai (DAI), Maker (MKR) and 0x (ZRX).

The additions bring Chainalysis' compliance, regulatory and tracking software – a favorite among federal investigators – to a larger swath of ERC-20 tokens. ERC-20 is crypto shorthand for “Ethereum Request for Comment” – a common set of rules governing tokens issued on the ethereum blockchain.

Chainalysis "is a de-facto federal standard,” said Casey Bohn, a crypto-crimes specialist with the federally funded National White Collar Crime Center. “That’s what they seem to be using most” to analyze and track crypto transactions.

Jonathan Levin, Chainalysis' co-founder and chief strategy officer, said the additions help regulators trace illicit tokens – especially ERC-20 tokens on the ethereum network, which he said has become a popular hotbed for hackers to exploit.

In early 2019, hackers cleared out an estimated $16 million in ether and ERC-20 tokens from the now-defunct Cryptopia exchange.

ERC-20 tokens continue to gain popularity, putting pressure on exchanges to list them and increasing the chance bad actors try to steal them. This, Levin said, made the addition of ERC-20 tokens a priority.

Levin said:

"As of this month, there are more than 216,000 ERC-20 tokens found on the Ethereum network. With many end users flocking to get involved, cryptocurrency businesses want to quickly meet this demand."

The eagle-eyed AML software is popular among crypto exchanges facing stringent global money-laundering safeguards. Last week, U.S. exchange Bittrex began using Chainalysis KYT software to monitor suspicious transactions, joining Binance.

Chainalysis will double its crypto coverage by the end of the year. It plans on adding XRP, ZCash and Doge, among others.

Update: this article has been updated to reflect that 10 ERC-20 tokens have been added.

Chainalysis branding image via CoinDesk archives

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