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A new report shows that over $1.4 billion USD worth of laundered money has made its way into cryptocurrency exchanges so far this year.
Peckshield, a blockchain security company, has been collating and analyzing data for the past year, in both on and offline capacities. From the data collected, the firm has reported that it could recognize and identify over 100 million transactions’ addresses. In addition, the firm has said that it could identify over 50 million cryptocurrency wallet addresses at different cryptocurrency exchanges.
With this information, along with CoinHolmes, a dedicated Bitcoin and cryptocurrency tracking platform, the security company found that over 147,000 Bitcoin has been moved into exchanges so far in 2020. According to the report, with the information collected over the year, the firm can identify the funds as associated with illegal activity, such as hacker attacks, sales and purchases through the dark web, and gambling.
The Top Exchanges Listed With Laundered Money
As per Peckshield’s report, the exchanges which held the most amount of stolen assets:
“We ranked the exchanges with the largest amount of stolen money, and found that the top ten exchanges were: Huobi, Binance, Okex, ZB Gate.io , Bitmex, Luno, HaoBTC, Bithum, and Coinbase.”
With the transparency of cryptocurrency, monitoring the addresses was possible. However, with the explicit anonymity of cryptocurrencies as a whole, Peckshield highlighted that there were difficulties in tracing the addresses. One obstacle in continuing to trace known addresses is linked to the fact that some moved their funds into cryptocurrency mixers. This is an intentional strategy taken by the illicit parties in ensuring that the funds aren’t traced. As Peckshields stated:
“As of June 30, 2020, we have monitored the high-risk address, of which $1.62 billion flowed into the blacklist address and $15.9 billion into the mixed currency service provider. In particular, it should be emphasized that most of the funds through the mixed currency service have been successfully laundered.”