The latest blog post by blockchain securities firm Chainalysis revealed that 4068 criminal whales held more than $25 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2021.
The company tracked cryptocurrency criminal whales, which is defined as crypto whales that have received at least 10% of the funds from illicit addresses, in its latest report summarizing last year’s crime trends. Criminal whales represent 3.7% of all cryptocurrency whales, according to the firm’s latest data.
Chainalysis highlighted a pattern that popped up after it categorized criminal whales by the percentage of funds they received from illicit origins. The firm noted that most of the criminal whales received either a large amount or a fairly small amount of funds from criminal addresses.
The lowest-share bucket is the biggest — 1,374 criminal whales received between 10% and 25% of their total balance from illicit addresses. However, the largest-share bucket is close behind, with 1,361 criminal whales that received between 90% and 100% of their total balance from illicit addresses.”
The report further revealed that most of the illicit funds came from darknet markets (37.7%), followed by scams (32.4%), stolen funds (24.3%), fraud shops, and ransomware. Demographic-wise, UTC zones 2, 3, and 4, consisting of most of Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Iran, are believed to harbor the most criminal whales