Where does the most cryptocurrency fraud occur?
Where does the most cryptocurrency fraud occur? Where does the most cryptocurrency fraud occur?

A new report from analytics firm Chainalysis sheds light on where in the world the most digital asset fraud is occurring.

The report focuses on cryptocurrency-related crimes in Eastern Europe, which Chainalysis says is (right behind Africa) the second highest area for illegal crypto activity.

Chainalysis analysts gathered data showing the extent to which user addresses in each region were exposed to these ‘shady’, scammer-linked activities.

The report notes that Eastern Europe has the highest number of cryptocurrency transfers coming out of it directed to illegal darknet markets than anywhere else, mainly due to Hydra Market, the world’s largest darknet market that caters to Russian-speaking users.

What’s particularly interesting is that the majority of illegal crypto transactions in Eastern Europe are tied to fraud, not darknet markets.

“As in all regions, fraud accounts for the largest share of funds sent from Eastern Europe to illegal addresses – we can assume that most of this activity is victims sending money to fraudsters. From June 2020 to July 2021, addresses from Eastern Europe sent $815 million to fraud-related addresses, second only to Western Europe.”

Chainalysis also claims that Eastern Europe is where most of the web traffic directed to scammer sites related to cryptocurrencies comes from. This is followed by countries in Central and South Asia and Latin America.

The country with the most visits to fraudulent cryptocurrency-related websites is Ukraine, surpassing the United States in this regard despite a modest population of around 44 million.

Chainalysis analysts say the lion’s share of cryptocurrency fraud is covered by the infamous Finiko, a Russian company that was deemed a Ponzi scheme by the country’s central bank and whose founder was arrested in July this year. Finiko addresses have allegedly received BTC worth a staggering over $1.5 billion through over 800,000 separate deposits.

Finiko is one of nearly a dozen scammers that Chainalysis identifies on its list of the top 5 digital asset scams from every region of the world.

You can read the full Chainalysis report here.

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