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.
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.
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.
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.”