Chainanalysis: 2021 Crypto Bull Market made Cyber Criminals Richer

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A report published last February 16th by Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency investigation software company, showed that the bullish crypto market in 2021 also made it easier for cybercriminals to accumulate wealth. At the end of 2021, around $11 billion in cryptocurrency was tied to illicit activity, which is $8 billion more illicit crypto than what cybercriminals held at the same time in 2020.

To visualize the extent of illicit crypto on the market, Chainalaysis provided a chart containing year-end criminal balances over the last five years, broken down by the types of illicit activity the funds were derived from such as darknet markets, ransomware operations, scams, or crypto theft.

According to the firm, the most thriving crime was theft. 93% of the funds in criminals’ crypto wallets were made up of stolen coins worth $9.8 billion. This is followed by darknet market funds at $448 million, scams at $192 million, fraud shops at $66 million, and finally ransomware at $30 million.

Accordingly, in the Philippines, the Filipino crypto community and even its everyday citizens were shocked by the news following the reports of BDO Unibank Inc. accounts being hacked by cybercriminals last December 2021. Large sums (₱25,000 to ₱50,000) were stolen per account. The money stolen from BDO accounts were transferred to the scammer named “Mark D. Nagoyo” who has multiple accounts in the crypto-friendly UnionBank. It is believed that the siphoned amount from the victims were used to buy Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency. (Read more: Crypto Community Reacted to BDO Hacking Incident)

Considering growing cybertheft cases in the country, UK-based Think Tank The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) stated that the Philippines will most likely restrain crypto deals in the next five years. (Read more: Crypto Unlikely to be Legal Tender in PH – UK Think Tank)

Although these are the cases, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas assured the investing public that it has cryptocurrency specialists in their team. The central bank emphasizes that it still does not encourage people to invest in cryptocurrency and that the public must do their own due diligence before engaging. (Read more: BSP, SEC Do Not Encourage the Public to Invest in Crypto)

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