Crypto Crime Siphoned Off Nearly $10.5B in 2020: Research

Blockchain analytics company Coinfirm noted that scams and fraud account for two thirds of the funds misappropriated.

AccessTimeIconMar 1, 2021 at 4:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:19 p.m. UTC

Financial crime related to cryptocurrency reaped nearly $10.5 billion last year – slightly down from 2019, according to research from blockchain analytics company Coinfirm.

  • Provided to CoinDesk on Monday, Coinfirm's report said, of the $10.5 billion total, over two-thirds (67.8%) was misappropriated by fraud and scams.
  • That's seven times more than hacks, which reaped 9.6% of the 2020 total of ill-gotten gains.
  • Darknet markets and the drugs trade made up 18.4%, while sanctions breaches accounted for just 3.9% of the yearly total.
  • However, the firm notes that the crypto total still pales in comparison to EY's estimate that crime in traditional finance amounted to $1.4-3.5 trillion last year.
  • The data showed most notably that scams saw a sharp rise for 2020, in part due to the PlusToken scam which fleeced investors for around $2.9 billion.
  • However, fund misappropriated by frauds and scams have doubled since 2017, per the report.
  • The company further noted that much crypto crime is hidden, with 80% of fraud and hack cases not reported in the year they occur and up to 50% not reported at all.
  • It arrived at the data having developed a "map" of global crypto crime through its own methodologies and services.


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