Chainalysis: 2020 Crypto Crime – Ransomware Skyrocketed in 2020, But There May Be Fewer Culprits Than You Think

Blockchain analysis company Chainalysis has published a new report as part of its 2020 Crypto Crime series, focusing on ransomware findings, with top highlights including:

  • Ransomware has increased by 311% to reach $350M

    • No other category of crime had a higher growth rate (Note: this is also surely a lower bound of the true total due to underreporting)

    Chainalysis finds connections b/w ransomware strains by examining common deposit addresses to which wallets associated with different strains send funds

    • Believe most of the cases of deposit address overlap represent usage of common money laundering services by different ransomware strains

    Just 199 deposit addresses receive 80% of all funds sent by ransomware addresses in 2020. An even smaller group of 25 addresses accounts for 46%

    Overall, these findings help suggest the world of ransomware might be smaller than many people think. This is critical for law enforcement, as it suggests they can disrupt the activity of multiple strains — in particular, their ability to liquidate and spend the cryptocurrency — by taking one money-laundering operation offline.

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