According to Chainalysis 2021 crypto crime report, the bitcoin-related crime fell in 2020. The full report will come out in February.
Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin have been utilized by hackers and other criminals since 2008. The anonymity attached with bitcoin transaction make it ideal for the transfer of illegal money. It is nearly impossible for the government or federal authority to track a person through their public wallet address. Hence, we increasingly see criminals and scammers asking people to send them funds in bitcoin.
The bitcoin-related transaction in 2019 hit a whopping 2%. A great chunk of it involved scams. However, the overall percentage of the transaction went down to 0.34 % in the subsequent year. Take a look at the chart below for understanding.
There is one type of bitcoin-related crime that surged in 2020.
Ransomware On the Rise
The miscreant actors have progressively benefitted from ransomware in the last year. The criminals received 311% more money through this technique in 2020 than compared to 2019.
Ransomware is a kind of cyber attack. The hacker or attacker leaves a malware in the host’s computer blocking access to some valuable data. The attacker then asks for ransom in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for providing the access. There is no surety whether they give access or not after taking your money.
Also Read: 7 Common Bitcoin Scams and How to Avoid Them
The dramatic rise of ransomware attacks in 2020 was due to the surge in work from home culture. The coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to operate online. Many brick and mortar offices went in cyberspace. This increased the threat of cyberattacks as companies had all their valuable data stored in the digital medium.
Bitcoin makes it easier to receive money online. Besides, federal authorities cannot track individuals or groups behind the recipient wallet address.
Bitcoin’s price has been on the rise since the start of this year. The coin hit a new all-time high of $42,000 a few weeks ago. Investors are flocking to buy bitcoin. But the illicit use of currency must be curtailed in order for it to attain firm footing in the mainstream financial arena.