Cryptocurrency Crimes Fell by Over 83% in 2020: Chainalysis Report

Cryptocurrency-related crimes have fallen “significantly” in 2020, says blockchain analyst Chainalysis which provides its services to government agencies, crypto businesses, and financial institutions.

The criminal activity represented 2.1% of all crypto transaction volume in 2019 at roughly $21.4 billion. In 2020, this criminal share of all crypto activity fell to just 0.34%, $10 bln in transaction volume, as per Chainalsyis’ 2021 Crypto Crime Report.


Chainalysis also notes that these rough estimates could increase over time as new scams get uncovered.

One of the reasons behind the drop is that overall economic activity nearly tripled between 2019 and 2020.

Overall, “Cryptocurrency-related crime is falling, and it still remains a small part of the overall cryptocurrency economy.”

The new data further discloses that 54% of scams made up the majority of all crypto-related crimes. With roughly $2.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency received in scams, it is much smaller than that of 2019, primarily because of the $2 bln PlusToken Ponzi scheme.

Darknet markets were, once again, the second-largest crime category, accounting for $1.7 bln worth of crypto activity, up from $1.3 bln in 2019.


The report says the big story for crypto-based crime in 2020 was ransomware, which, though accounted for just 7% of all funds received, represents an increase of 311% from 2019.

Despite this latest data, which shows the percentage of crypto transactions used in crimes is extremely small, Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that “many are used, at least in a transaction sense, mainly for illicit financing. And I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use.”

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