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Bitcoin-Ransomware Increased in 2020, Chainalysis Finds

Blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis have revealed that Cryptocurrency-related crimes fell by more than 53% last year.

During the past year, the crypto activity that was connected to crimes was a mere 0.34% or $10 billion worth of transfers that occurred during the year. Compared to crime rates in the crypto-sphere in 2019, this is much lower. In 2019, the cryptocurrency activities connected to crimes represented 2.1% or $21.4 billion of all cryptocurrency transaction volume.

Source: Chainalysis

Despite this boost in outlook, analysts at Chainlaysis expects a spike in the number of crypto-crimes. This they explain is because some addresses remain unidentified. Especially those in connection with PlusToken scam that swindled $6 billion from 715,000 victims.

The researchers were able to track the kinds of crimes connected to crypto transactions associated with illicit and illegal activity. They found that there were no scams in 2020 comparable to those like the enormous PlusToken Ponzi scheme, which took in over $2 billion from millions of victims. The darknet remained the second-largest crime category with 1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency activity. An increase from the 1.3 billion in 2019.

According to the analysts, ransomware accounted for 7.1% of all received by criminal addresses in 2020. While this was under $350 million, it represented an alarming 311% increase from 2019.

The team further explained:

No other category of cryptocurrency-based crime rose so dramatically in 2020, as Covid-prompted work-from-home measures opened up new vulnerabilities for many organizations.

The analysts remained skeptical of the figures. They concluded that the estimates would be much higher due to underreporting. It’s believed that more ransomware payments will be revealed if “more addresses associated with different strains” are identified.

Israeli companies in the last quarter of 2020 were reported to have experienced an exceptional number of Bitcoin ransomware attacks. Cybersecurity firm, Check Point, found that many experienced full blown

If you have any questions and comments on Bitcoin today, use the form below to reply.

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