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Crypto Exchanges in Finland and Russia Receive the Most Illegal Funds

1 min
Updated by Ryan Smith
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In Brief

  • Finish crypto exchanges remain the preferred destination for illegal crypto transactions.
  • More than $1.4 billion was lost to cryptocurrency crime in the first five months of 2020.
  • Bitcoin adoption for cross-border transactions continues to grow.
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Finnish exchanges remain the most popular destination for illegal cryptocurrency proceeds. The Scandinavian nation has dubiously claimed the title for the third year in a row.
Criminal Crypto Proceeds Sent to Exchanges
Source: CypherTrace
In its Spring 2020 crypto crime and AML report, the blockchain tracking firm CipherTrace revealed that exchanges in Finland and Russia account for most of the illicit funds. According to CipherTrace, platforms in Finland alone receive over 12% of illegal crypto transfers worldwide. 99% Of those transactions occurred via the peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace LocalBitcoins.
Crypto Theft
Source: CypherTrace
Russian crypto exchanges account for a further 5.3% of criminal cryptocurrency dealings. The majority of these funds came from the Hydra darknet marketplace. On the whole, total crypto theft in the first five months of 2020 stands at $1.36 billion alone. That figure is already almost a third of the $4.5 billion reported last year. According to the report, COVID-19 scams form a major part of the total crypto thefts recorded so far in 2020. Fraudsters have siphoned off roughly $1 billion from over 715,000 victims. BeInCrypto previously reported that coronavirus-related scams continue to surge, even targeting groups like the World Health Organization (WHO). The CipherTrace report also underscored growing Bitcoin (BTC) adoption for international remittance payments. Excerpts from the report read:
“74% of the bitcoin moved in exchange-to-exchange transactions were cross-border. 88% of funds sent by US Bitcoin ATMs to exchanges in 2019 were sent offshore.”
Increased adoption of cross-border crypto flows has resulted in a move towards more robust AML laws.
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Osato Avan-Nomayo
Osato is a reporter at BeInCrypto and Bitcoin believer based in Lagos, Nigeria. When not immersed in the daily happenings in the crypto scene, he can be found watching historical documentaries or trying to beat his Scrabble high score.