Are crypto criminals also victims of the bear market? This appears to be apparent from a report from analysis firm Chainalysis, which looked at their activities in the first half of 2022. But the price drop is not the only reason.
Crypto crime plummeted in the first half of 2022
As the report explains, cryptocurrency’s overall gains have declined, a trend directly related to the general decline in price. The criminals thus raised “only” $1.6 billion between January and July 2022. 65% less than in the same period last year.
However, criminal activities are less affected by falling prices than legitimate activities. The transaction volume due to crypto crime has thus decreased by 15% in the first half of the year, at 36% for the volume of traditional transactions.
Falling prices also have broader effects: They tend to diminish the credibility of scammers, according to Chainalysis:
“The decline in scammers’ earnings is partly due to fewer potential victims being grabbed by scams. Indeed, the decline in asset prices makes big returns less credible.»
In addition, the report notes that beginning investors, historically more naive, are less present during bear market periods… And therefore less likely to be scammed by scammers.
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More widespread scams
Chainalysis further notes that historically, major scams generally accumulate a significant proportion of illegal transactions. She cites PlusToken, one of the largest scams in the ecosystem with $2 billion stolen, which took place in 2019, as well as Finiko, which made it possible to extract $1.5 billion in 2021.
In 2022, we will see fewer “big” scams. The highest amount was collected by the scam JuicyFieldswith $273 million, followed by Unique-Exchangewhich raised $267 million.
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Less volume on darknet, DeFi attacks still present
On the darknet side, revenue for the first half of 2022 are 43% below the July 2021 level. But there’s one but: they were on the rise until last April 5, when the main darknet marketplace, Hydra Market, closed:
“This decrease is therefore one of the consequences of the closure […] from Hydra Marketplace, which will be for years the predominant darknet marketacting as a hub for the sale of drugs, hacking tools, stolen data or even money laundering services.»
Last mentioned, decentralized finance, which has seen its fair share of attacks in recent months. According to Chainalysis, these attacks are targeted, especially by the Lazarus group, allied with North Korea. The latter is said to have stolen more than a billion dollars worth of cryptocurrencies in the first half of the year. We can therefore see that if crypto crime is also affected by the bear market, it is far from bloodless.
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published by editions larousse
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