Is Bitcoin Mixing Illegal? | Cyber Crime Chart & Statistics 2019-2021

2 min read

Cyber Crime Statistics has come up with some shocking data regarding cyber crime. Here are their statistics:

“With the threat landscape always changing, it’s important to understand how cyber attacks are evolving and which security controls and types of training work.

  • There were 153 million new malware samples from March 2021 to February 2022 (AV-Test), a nearly 5% increase on the previous year which saw 145.8 million.
  • In 2019, 93.6% of malware observed was polymorphic, meaning it has the ability to constantly change its code to evade detection (2020 Webroot Threat Report)
  • Almost 50% of business PCs and 53% of consumer PCs that got infected once were re-infected within the same year (2021 Webroot Threat Report)
  • A 2007 study found that malicious hackers were previously attacking computers and networks at a rate of one attack every 39 seconds. The Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2020 report found that there were 465,177 reported incidents that year, which works out at one successful attack every 1.12 seconds. Notably, this doesn’t account for attempted attacks or those that went unreported. (University of Maryland)
  • 86.2% of surveyed organizations were affected by a successful cyberattack (CyberEdge Group 2021 Cyberthreat Defense Report)”

Cyber Edge threat report - organizations-compromised

CyberEdge Group 2021 Cyberthreat Defense Report

But what does crypto mixing have to do with it and is it illegal?

New data from market intelligence firm Chainalysis reveals bad actors are using crypto mixing services at unprecedented rates.

Is Crypto Mixing Illegal?

At this point, crypto mixing is not illegal. But, cyber criminals are using it for money laundering at an alarming rate.

According to a new blog post by the crypto insights company, crypto mixing usage has spiked in 2022, with illicit addresses accounting for 11% more of the funds sent to mixers compared to last year.

“While value received by mixers fluctuates significantly day-to-day, the 30-day moving average reached an all-time high of $51.8 million worth of cryptocurrency on April 19th, 2022, roughly doubling incoming volumes at the same point in 2021…

Illicit addresses account for 23% of funds sent to mixers so far in 2022, up from 12% in 2021.”

A crypto mixing service is a tool used to make it difficult to follow the movement of money by pooling together funds of many different users and mixing them together. Users would then withdraw their funds, which have now been randomized.

Chainalysis says the market sector contributing most to rising crypto mixing usage rates is decentralized finance (DeFi).

“The increases come primarily from increased volumes sent from centralized exchanges, DeFi protocols, and most notably, addresses connected to illicit activity.

DeFi protocols in particular have risen not just in terms of value sent to mixers, but also in terms of the share of all volume sent to mixers, which makes sense given that the timing coincides with DeFi’s increasing prominence within the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

Chainalysis also notes that while there are legitimate use cases for crypto mixers, such as financial privacy, the digital assets community and regulators should acknowledge that cyber criminals associated with hostile governments are taking advantage of the service.

“Mixers present a difficult question to regulators and members of the cryptocurrency community. Virtually everyone would acknowledge that financial privacy is valuable, and that in a vacuum, there’s no reason services like mixers shouldn’t be able to provide it.

However, the data shows that mixers currently pose a significant money laundering risk, with 25% of funds coming from illicit addresses, and that cybercriminals associated with hostile governments are taking advantage.”

Featured Image: Shutterstock/Nixx Photography/Sensvector

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