Blockchain use does not makes criminals invincible, and each new law enforcement operation proves it.
After an impressive seizure of $4Bn in crypto related to the Bitfinex hack, this week the US Department of Justice announced having seized $34M in BTC from a Florida resident accused of selling online accounts data on the darknet.
Another joint operation of the DOJ and the German Federal Criminal Police succeeded this week, leading to the closure of the world’s biggest darknet market – the russian-language Hydra, and the seizure of its $25M-worth Bitcoin possessions. A russian resident was indicted and Germany-based servers were shut.
Together with the standard set of products usually available on a darknet market – drugs, fake documents etc – Hydra was offering diverse tools of obscuring the trail of cryptocurrencies: tumblers, mixers… some of which are believed to be used by the Bitfinex hack-related money launderers. That didn’t stop the FBI from finding them ?
What we see is just another proof that law enforcement has enough tools in their disposal to find criminals using cryptocurrencies: the blockchain is transparent, and cryptographic tools together with online activity or other data on the criminals can lead to successful operations.
It’s exactly for this reason that crypto use in illicit operations is estimated at about 0.15% of the total crypto transaction volume.
Crypto is dangerous for criminals.