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Cryptocurrency Crime Declines in 2023, Except for Ransomware Attacks

cryptocurrency crime declines in 2023 except for ransomware attacks

The first half of 2023 has turned out to be a hard year for criminals  who are involved in cryptocurrency-related activities. According to a report by Chainalysis cryptocurrency crimes have yielded significantly less revenue compared to the same period in 2022. Overall the fraudsters received $5.22 billion less across various categories of cryptocurrency crimes . Notably currency mixing services (coin-mixers) and high-risk exchanges saw a 45% decrease in revenue when compared to the first half of 2022.

Decline in Cryptocurrency Scams

Cryptocurrency scams went through the most significant decline among cryptocurrency crimes. Revenues from scams dropped by 77% during the analyzed period which resulted in scammers receiving $3.32 billion less than the previous year . This decline comes as a surprise considering the positive price scenario with Bitcoin (BTC) witnessing an 80% increase from January to June 2023.

cryptocurrency crime declines in 2023 except for ransomware attacks2

Ransomware Attacks Buck the Trend

Ransomware attacks increased over the first half of 2023 in contrast to the general fall in cryptocurrency crimes. These assaults were successful in bringing in additional money for the offenders. Through ransom demands for data recovery or security criminals stole an additional $175 million. In order to target fewer but more significant victims and boost financial profits it seems that ransomware assaulters are changing their strategies.

Other Cryptocurrency Crimes

Aside from ransomware attacks other cryptocurrency crimes saw a decline in revenues. Hacker attacks went through a loss of over $1.1 billion while the “Cybercriminal Administrators” category saw a decrease of $839 million in cash inflows. Various typologies of cryptocurrency crimes such as “other malware” “darknet markets” “child abuse material” and “fraud stores” remained below the $100 million mark in terms of revenue that is spawned.

The first half of 2023 has seen a decline in overall cryptocurrency crime revenues apart from the exception of ransomware attacks. This shift in focus towards targeted attacks on higher-value victims puts forward a shift in criminal behavior . Combating and preventing these crimes remain a crucial priority for law enforcement and security agencies across the world .

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