March 15, 2024
5 min read

Chainalysis Report 2023: Crypto Crime Down 65%

Author
George Chen

A recent report from Chainalysis has some interesting news: overall cryptocurrency crime has taken a nosedive, dropping by 65% in 2023 compared to the same stretch last year. This sharp decline mainly comes down to several huge cryptocurrency scams disappearing. What were these scams, and what more does the report reveal? Let's dive into that.

Declining cryptocurrency scams

As of June 2023, we've seen a massive drop in cryptocurrency scams, pulling in nearly USD$3.3 billion less than the previous year, bringing the total to just a bit over $1 billion. This translates to a whopping 77% plunge in revenue when compared to the first half of 2022. What's fascinating here is that this downturn happens at a time when crypto prices are climbing — a scenario you'd think would lead to more scams, thanks to the market hype and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

This significant drop is largely down to the disappearance of two big scams: VidiLook and Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Financial Management. They were both running the old-school investment scam, telling people they could make a ton of money easily. For example, VidiLook was all about getting people to watch digital ads in exchange for their VDL token, teasing them with big rewards if they held onto these tokens.

Scam decline. Source: Chainalysis

The collapse of these scams has played a huge role in the dip in scam money, highlighting how crucial it is for everyone in the crypto space — businesses, users, and the police — to stay alert and ward off these dodgy dealings.

Impact on the market

With recent buzz about Bitcoin hitting an all-time high (ATH), it’s worth wondering if the fall in cryptocurrency crime has played a part in this milestone. The decline in cryptocurrency crime has had a nuanced impact on the adoption of cryptocurrency across various countries, reflecting a complex mix of regulatory environments, market dynamics, and public perception.

The reduction in illicit activities within the cryptocurrency space, as reported by Chainalysis, has contributed to a more positive image of cryptocurrencies. This shift could be encouraging broader adoption by reducing the stigma associated with their use for illegal transactions.

So perhaps, the decreasing crime rates and the rising trust in cryptocurrencies have set the stage for Bitcoin's unprecedented peak, suggesting a brighter future for the crypto world as it gains legitimacy and wider acceptance.

Ransomware resurgence

Unfortunately, the Chainalysis report does highlight one area that hasn’t seen any improvement. Ransomware stands out as the one corner of the cryptocrime world that's actually growing in 2023. So far, attackers have pocketed a hefty $449 million this year, and at this rate, they're on track to hit nearly $900 million. This uptick is mainly fuelled by a comeback in "big game hunting" campaigns, where big organisations are in the crosshairs with jaw-dropping multi-million dollar ransom demands.

Simultaneously, the number of successful small ransomware attacks has also increased significantly. Ransomware guru Andrew Davis points out that as more organisations stand their ground and refuse to pay up, attackers are getting crafty. They're casting a wider net to ensnare more small businesses while also turning the heat up on large enterprises with even heftier demands. It's a tricky situation, signalling that no one's off the hook in this evolving ransomware landscape.

Conclusion

Though the ransomware threat persists, the massive decreases in cryptocurrency scams and other forms of crypto-based crime are encouraging signs that concerted efforts by law enforcement and crypto businesses to boost security and prevent illicit activity are paying dividends.

The industry's resilience and adaptability in the face of these challenges highlight a maturing landscape where security and vigilance are increasingly prioritised, paving the way for a safer and more secure cryptocurrency ecosystem.

**All information in this article is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by CryptoSpend to invest, buy, or sell any coins, tokens, or other crypto assets. Any descriptions of CryptoSpend products or features are merely for illustrative purposes. Past performance is not a guarantee or predictor of future performance. The value of crypto assets can increase or decrease, and you could lose all or a substantial amount of your purchase price. It is essential for you to do your research and due diligence to make the best possible judgement, as any purchases shall be your sole responsibility.

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