Crypto Ponzi Schemes Cost Victims $7.8B in 2022: TRM Labs
Bitcoin is no longer the preferred chain for such crimes as criminals have moved onto altcoins, the blockchain analytics company also reported....
- Crypto criminals have shifted their focus from bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies, according to a report by TRM Labs.
- Scammers and hackers have continued to earn despite the depressed crypto prices in recent years.
- Ponzi schemes extracted at least $7.8 billion from victims in 2022, while over $9 billion in crypto was sent to addresses associated with frauds and scams.
- USDT based on the Tron blockchain is the most commonly used cryptocurrency for frauds, including Ponzi schemes.
- DeFi exploits brought attackers $3.7 billion, with $2 billion stolen from cross-chain bridges.
- Darknet marketplaces selling illegal drugs received around $1.5 billion in crypto.
- Crypto criminals are increasingly using chain hopping to make it harder to track funds.
- Bitcoin's share in crypto crimes decreased from 97% in 2016 to 19% in 2022, with Ethereum (68%) and Binance Smart Chain (19%) dominating.
- USDT on the Tron blockchain is now the preferred coin for terrorism financing, particularly for ISIS and its affiliates in Pakistan and Tajikistan.
- Bitcoin remains popular in Russian darknet marketplaces, which dominate the sector and mostly accept bitcoin for narcotics and illegal goods.
- Scammers selling access to non-existing content received a significant portion of funds meant for websites offering child sexual abuse materials.
The article highlights the shift of crypto criminals from bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies and the significant amount of funds extracted through frauds and scams. It also reveals the use of crypto in terrorism financing and the exploitation of vulnerable content.