The amount of BTC spent in illicit activities could hit a high $1 billion this year. Chainalysis, a research firm unveiled this information in a recent report. This news comes as the ratio of illegal to legal BTC transactions continues dwindling.
According to a report, the darknet had used approximated $515 million by the end of the first half of this year. As a result, the research firm believes that this amount could double to hit $1 billion setting a new high this year. Illicit BTC transactions peaked for the first time in 2017, hitting $872 million. However, the activity went down in the past year following the prolonged crypto winter.
Per Hanna Curtis, a Chainalysis executive, the $515 million represents 1 percent of BTC’s total activity this year. This percentage is down from 7 percent in 2012.
Hydra Leads in Illegal BTC Transactions
In its report, Chainalysis notes that Hydra is the largest illegal online marketplace. The firm found that it had the highest BTC activity this year.
The research firm also found that Hydra members like using Monero (XMR). The privacy of these coins allows these criminals to trade drugs and illegal porn on the site.
A previous publication revealed that two men pled guilty to selling steroids and money laundering on the darknet. The duo used a dark web marketplace named “NextDayGear”. According to the report, their dealings saw them make as much as $2.8 million within five years.
Addressing Crypto Regulatory Woes
This news comes as the crypto sector continues facing regulatory problems. Criminals have taken a liking to crypto transactions due to their anonymity. Most governments across the globe do not have rules that govern the crypto sector. As a result, criminals have found an easy way to launder their proceeds
However, several countries are trying to take the bull by the horns. For instance, the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental agency recently introduced measures to curb crypto crimes. Focused on fighting money laundering and terrorist financing, the entity introduced stern KYC policies for crypto exchanges and custodians.
Apart from this, Europol recently held its sixth Cryptocurrency Conference at its headquarters. This meeting had more than 300 crypto experts from the law enforcement and private sectors. It aimed to forge new partnerships that would help detect and prevent crypto-related crime. On top of this, the meeting also sought to find ways of recovering lost crypto assets.
Do you think a close partnership between authorities and crypto firms can help curb crypto-related crimes? Let us know in the comments below.