Elliptical analysts forecast that the amount laundered through DEX exchanges, bridges and currency swaps will rise to $6.5 billion by the end of 2023 and $10.5 billion by 2025.
Blockchain analytics platform Elliptic found through recent on-chain analysis that criminals, including the notorious North Korean hacking group Lazarus, have laundered nearly $7 billion in illicit cryptocurrencies through decentralized exchanges (DEXs), cross-chain bridges, Currency exchange services.
according to press releaseThe second edition of the State of Cross-Chain Crime report revealed that sanctioned entities and terrorists now own more than 80 crypto assets across more than 26 blockchains.
$7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were laundered via DEXs
In the first and previous edition of the State of Cross-Chain Crime report released in October 2022, Elliptic analysts predicted that the amount laundered through direct exchanges, bridges and currency swaps will rise to $6.5 billion by the end of 2023 and $10.5 billion by the end of 2023 2025. At that time, the amount of illicit assets laundered through these platforms was just over $4.1 billion.
However, the current figure has surpassed Elliptic’s estimate at $7 billion. The company discovered that an additional $2.7 billion was laundered through cross-chain services and assets between July 2022 and July 2023.
The Lazarus Group is the largest source of all illicit funds laundered across cross-chain bridges and the third largest source of all cross-chain crime, being responsible for $900 million of the entire figure. Criminals are now using more sophisticated cross-chain methods such as derivatives trading and limit orders to hide their money laundering activities.
Tom Robinson, co-founder and chief scientist at Elliptic, said:
“Over the past decade, Elliptic has helped mitigate risk and bring transparency to blockchain by identifying and tracking illicit activity within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Now, with innovative insights from our comprehensive blockchain analytics capabilities released last year, we’ve seen cross-chain crime It continues to grow, as bad actors continue to exploit services such as decentralized exchanges (DEXs), cross-chain bridges, and cryptocurrency swap services.”
Bad actors persist through hacks and scams
As the amount of crypto assets through DEX exchanges, cross-chain bridges, and token swaps continues to grow, bad actors have doubled down on stealing tokens via hacks, exploits, and scams.
CryptoPotato It reported that nearly $332 million was lost to hackers and scammers in September, with one attack resulting in losses of nearly $200 million.
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