Crypto Criminals Stealing Much Less Money in 2023: Chainalysis Report

Scammers and hackers have seen significantly less inflows through mid-June.

AccessTimeIconJul 12, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. UTC

Crypto crimes are raking in far less revenue this year due to a dry-up among hacks and scams, according to a mid-year report from Chainalysis, which tracks illicit wallet addresses.

Through the end of June, the industry’s total losses to illicit actors ranged near $2.5 billion and had fallen 65% relative to mid-2022, whereas legitimate actors were experiencing a “much less severe” drop in inflows during the sluggish bear market, Chainalysis said.

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  • Scammers in particular are pulling in billions of dollars less this year. Chainalysis said two of the biggest operations – VidiLook and Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Financial Management, both of which exit scammed investors to whom they promised lofty returns – disappeared. They haven’t been replaced in spite of bitcoin’s 83% rally year to date, a price surge that usually emboldens opportunistic schemers.

    Impersonation scams are, however, bucking the trend: they’re duping nearly 50% more people this year than last. As a result, scammers who pose as authority figures are seeing only a 23% drop-off in overall inflows, whereas all other scams are down 70%.

    Unfortunately, it's not all bad news for the bad guys. Chainalysis said ransomware attackers are far outpacing their 2022 haul, with nearly $450 million extorted so far. Attackers are finding success across the board by infecting big and small organizations with targeted ransomware as well as less sophisticated “spray and pray” packages.

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    Danny Nelson

    Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.


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