Illegal movements in the crypto market have reached a record in 2022 of 20.1 billion dollars (18.4 billion euros), with a large amount of the volume attributed to entities sanctioned by the United States, according to a study published by Chainanalysis this. The analysis explains that 44% of illegal activity last year originated from entities sanctioned by the US Government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
One of them was the Russian platform Garantex, which continued to operate “with impunity” despite being punished in April as a result of the start of the war in Ukraine. The report underlines that the funds received by Garantex are probably due to “Russian users using a Russian platform”, although being on the list of sanctioned firms professionals in the sector “treat it as an illegal activity”.
The volume of transactions related to the sanctioned entities shot up exponentially – it multiplied by 100,000 -, contributing to the record number of illegal activity in the crypto market, which increased for the second consecutive year. And that the “tumult” of the market and the fall of platforms such as Celsius, Three Arrows Capital and FTX contributed to a lower total volume of transactions, including in the “conventional categories of crime associated with cryptocurrencies”.
Thus, in 2022 the volumes of cryptocurrency transactions for human trafficking or terrorist financing fell, although there was an exception: the theft of funds, which grew 7% year-on-year. The report notes that when there is less money in the global cryptocurrency market, less money goes to cryptocrime.
Chainanalysis, which only measures illegal activity recorded on the blockchain, still highlights that the final figure will surely be revised upwards when additional fraud is discovered, as happened in 2021, when it rose from 14 billion to 18 billion.