• Tue. Aug 22nd, 2023

The Use of BTC in Crypto Crime is Declining With the Exception of the Dark Web Markets

Jul 21, 2023
BTC Use in Crypto Crime Declining, Dark Web
Harper Stewart

The study also discovered that Bitcoin is no longer the most popular cryptocurrency for illegal cryptocurrency transactions, which cover 40 different categories of criminal behavior, including money laundering, fraud, swindling, and dark web sales.

The Report

TRM LABS diagram showed the movement of money from darknet market vendors to two cryptocurrency exchanges. Contrary to most other illegal activities mentioned in the report, Bitcoin keeps taking over the dark web market transactions, according to the authors. 

The reason for this is that the majority of Russian-language markets, which account for more than 80% of all DNM volume globally, only accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. “Criminals believe that Russian-language DNMs have turned into a shelter from US and European authorities as a result of the breakdown in Western and Russian collaboration on cybercrime issues since the start of the Ukraine war.

The investigation also identified a close connection among bitcoin exchanges with lax or absent KYC procedures and darknet markets, which are typically uncontrolled. These exchanges comprise “parasite VASPS,” which undertake coin swaps for its clients using the infrastructure of larger exchanges, and “high-risk VASPS,” which are exchanges with headquarters in nations with “lax compliance controls” or “weak regulatory oversight.” 

Although “tens of billions of dollars” in cryptocurrency transactions have been performed, TRM Labs claims to have tracked over 500 high-risk exchanges in 2022. The use of “high-risk VASPS” restrictions on darknet markets, the use of mixers to launder darknet market revenues, and the significance of cryptocurrencies in human trafficking, terrorism funding, and contract murders were all topics covered in the paper.