Last week, analytical company Chainalysis presented a long-announced report on criminal activity in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The authors of the report were not limited solely to Bitcoin, the situation in the Ethereum network also came into view. The main conclusion is that criminal activity in cryptomir has decreased, but still represents a significant problem. So, according to the authors of the report, criminal activity using Bitcoin in 2018, although it grew, however, in reality, it accounted for a rather modest part of all transactions - less than 1%. This is a significant decrease from 7% in 2012.

There is, however, an alarming trend: analysts say that the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes has begun to acquire more and more sophisticated forms. The main directions are as follows.
1. It was possible to identify two large groups involved in the hacking of stock exchanges and the laundering of stolen funds. In 2018 alone, hacking exchanges brought about $ 1 billion to hackers, while, according to Chainalysis, in most cases two large groups were involved in them. Attackers work quickly, cash out the stolen funds within three months after the attacks and create complex transactional patterns to confuse the tracks.
2. The darknet is alive and fully functional. In 2017, a number of large marketplaces on the darknet were closed, but in 2018 many other sites appeared in their place. Despite the collapse of the market, the total volume of bitcoin transactions on them last year exceeded $ 600 million - criminal organizations value the darkness for the offered confidentiality and convenience, paying little attention to current cryptocurrency prices.
3. Fraud schemes using Ethereum are not yet impressive in scale, but their development demonstrates qualitative changes. Up to the level of Bitcoin is far away, but the trend is alarming. Although the total number of Ethereum cryptocurrency stolen by fraudsters in 2018 has doubled, it is less than 0.01% of the total value of the ETH in circulation. Moreover, the reduction in market agiotage and a higher user base awareness mean that many schemes were not as successful as a year earlier. The peak in the number of users who fell victim to scams and other fraudulent schemes fell at the beginning of 2018, but after that the curve abruptly went down.

The authors of the report note the cyclical nature of successful phishing attacks and its correlation with the price of an asset. For this reason, believe in Chainalysis, users should beware of ponzi-schemes and fraudulent ICO at low prices and be prepared for more sophisticated phishing attacks in case of rising cryptocurrency costs.

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