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Crypto Crime Hits Highs as Thieves Track Buzz, Report Shows

Feb. 16, 2022, 3:35 PM

Crypto criminals made off like bandits as digital assets spiked in popularity, according to a 2022 cryptocurrency crime report.

Illicit transactions jumped nearly 80% to $14 billion, an all-time high, in 2021, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. Overall transaction volume jumped 567%, which shows legitimate transactions outpaced crime. Yet, illegal activity is tracking popular growth categories in crypto, including decentralized finance, or DeFi projects, the data show.

Scams and rug pulls proliferated in the year. Scamming revenue rose 82% to $7.8 billion worth of stolen cryptocurrency, with more than a third of that total procured from so-called rug ...