Crypto crime in North Korea hits the top of the charts. Finally, they win at something. Yay!
Crypto Crime – Gold Medal
Authors of the report say, “An army of approximately 7,000 hackers has raised funds for the DPRK through a series of profitable cyberattacks. North Korea has over 15 documented instances of crypto crime, with proceeds conservatively estimated at $1.59 billion.”
Crypto Crime – Silver Medal
Following close behind is the USA. The second-place medal was won due to the scale of its underground crypto economy. Plus, multiple high-profile scams have taken place in the country. Says Coincub, “The U.S. had 14 documented instances of attributable crypto crime, with proceeds over $2 billion.”
Crypto Crime – Bronze Medal
The bronze medal goes to Russia. Authors of the study say, “The sheer amount of ransomware coming out of Russia qualifies it for third place. The country is the point of origin for infamous malware strains like Conti, REvil, Ryuk, and Netwalker. Organized gangs of hackers often enjoy tolerance, if not outright approval from the Kremlin.”
China and Others
In fourth place is China. The place on the table is thanks to large-scale fraud. Also, exchange hacks, and Ponzi schemes have placed China right up there. “China also leads in fraud profits, with an 18% share of the world’s crypto crime volume.”
Then there’s the Brits. Those scallywags have taken fifth place due to the sheer number of hacks and scams within the jurisdiction. “The U.K. is a global hub for crypto fraud as lax corporate regulations allow fraudsters to obfuscate the source and destination of funds. In 2021 alone, 7,118 cases of crypto fraud were reported.”
After that, the other countries following closely behind are Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, the British Virgin Islands, and Seychelles.
1 North Korea
2 United States
5 United Kingdom
7 Hong Kong
9 British Virgin Islands
11 South Korea
15 New Zealand
17 Marshall Islands
19 Saint Kitts and Nevis
37 Cayman Islands
38 Czech Republic
Reputation Vs Reality
Even though the crypto world has a rep for crime, it’s not all bad. Overall, the crypto economy is rather law-abiding.
Sergiu Hamza is Coincub’s CEO. “While crypto fraud reached an all-time high last year it still represents a small part of the total crypto market at 0.15%. In comparison, criminal activity makes up 2-5% of the world’s GDP. It’s clear that crypto transactions are not disproportionately related to illicit activities. Nevertheless, people still need to be vigilant about crime by observing security best practices.”
Crypto crime is still a massive problem in the industry, thanks to the lastest hacks, including the $100 million hack on blockchain bridge Horizon.
Read the full breakdown of the worldwide crypto crime ranking here.