Just 270 Addresses Responsible for Majority of Money Laundering in Crypto: Chainalysis

The United States, Russia, and China receive the highest volume of digital currency from illicit addresses.


Just 270 deposit addresses are being used for the majority, 55% of all of the cryptocurrency value sent from illicit addresses in 2020, as per the latest research of Chainalysis. These addresses collectively received $1.3 billion worth of illicit crypto, while just 24 received over $500 million worth of it.

Additionally, 1,867 deposit addresses received 75% of all cryptocurrency value sent from illicit addresses in 2020. This level of concentration is greater than in 2019, showing that a small group of crypto services is being used by criminals to launder hundreds of millions of dollars.

Money laundering actually makes up a huge portion of the illicit funds that travel to service deposit addresses, as per the report. A smaller but significant portion of illicit funds also goes to deposit addresses that do a high volume of legitimate transactions and flies under the radar.

Cryptocurrency sent from illicit addresses facilitating money laundering tends to wind up at just a few services, mostly five including mainstream “risky” exchanges, mixers, gambling platforms, ever since 2017.

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The report also found that the United States, Russia, and China received the highest volume of digital currency from illicit addresses, reflecting their high shares of crypto trading volumes.

Scams followed by stolen funds make up the largest crime type in the US while Russia receives a “disproportionately large share” of darknet market funds, which according to Chainalysis, is because of Hydra. As for China, ransomware and stolen funds are the dominating crime types that the country receives funds from.

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