Criminals Shifting Away from Bitcoin for Illicit Activities

Criminals Shifting Away from Bitcoin for Illicit Activities

Bitcoin (BTC), previously regarded as the go-to cryptocurrency for unlawful activity, is losing favor among cyber criminals. All of this is based on data provided by the digital asset compliance business TRM Labs. Over the last seven years, illicit financing flows including Bitcoin have decreased significantly, according to the report.

According to the research, thieves are increasingly resorting to alternative cryptocurrencies to move their stolen assets. While cash and other fiat-related mechanisms continue to be the primary means of illegal money transportation.  The emergence of a new era of multichain cryptocurrency has resulted in a qualitative move away from Bitcoin.

TRM Labs emphasizes that while illicit activity involving cryptocurrencies has expanded, these criminal forms were not created by the cryptocurrency itself. In 2022, around $2 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen via cross-chain bridge hacks. However, Bitcoin only accounted for a minor portion of that total.

According to the survey, Bitcoin’s percentage of unlawful transactions has decreased significantly. Bitcoin’s participation in such transactions fell from 97% in 2016 to roughly 19% in 2022. Ethereum emerged as the clear winner, accounting for the majority of illegal transactions, followed by BNB Smart Chain.

According to the analysis, Bitcoin’s supremacy in terrorist financing has waned. While it was previously the exclusive currency for such operations, Tron has essentially replaced it. In 2022, it was responsible for 92% of terrorist financing. 

While these findings are encouraging for Bitcoin, it is vital to recognize the hurdles it currently confronts. Significant amounts were funneled into Ponzi schemes and darknet markets specializing in narcotics via cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, massive losses caused by DeFi hacks and exploits in 2022 resulted in the use of cryptocurrency. So, please be cautious when investing in cryptocurrencies.


Finally, the TRM Labs analysis illuminates the evolving world of illegal money and cryptocurrency.  Fortunately, Bitcoin’s link with illicit activity is fading. However, other cryptocurrencies and traditional routes continue to be popular among criminals. Continued efforts are required to improve security measures in the ever-changing crypto environment.


About Ron Fetahu

I'm Ron, an experienced content writer who is passionate about creating captivating and impactful articles. I take pride in my writing style, as I can adapt it to suit various industries and topics. I also believe in the power of words to inform, inspire, and engage.

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