Chainalysis is one of the more popular blockchain surveillance companies that regularly post studies regarding blockchain analytics. Recently, Chainalysis has published a study pertaining to criminal entities (Criminal Whales) holding massive amounts in the form of digital assets (cryptocurrencies).
According to Chainalysis, Criminal entities hold more than $25 billion in digital assets. In spite of significant law enforcement seizures last year, Chainalysis states there are billions of dollars held in digital assets by ‘Criminal Whales’.
With these statistics, Chainalysis deduced that 2021 saw “tremendous growth in criminal balances”. To keep things in perspective, criminal entities held around $3 billion in digital assets in 2020. However, that number rose to $11 billion.
Chainalysis report details around the proposition of different types of stolen funds:
“As of the end of 2021, stolen funds account for 93% of all criminal balances at $9.8 billion. Darknet market funds are next at $448 million, followed by scams at $192 million, fraud shops at $66 million, and ransomware at $30 million. Criminal balances also fluctuated throughout the year, from a low of $6.6 billion in July to a high of $14.8 billion in October.”
Talking in detail, Chainalysis identified with its study about the criminals holding crypto for the longest time without liquidating. Unsurprisingly, darknet market vendors and administrators topped the charts in these parameters.
While “Criminal Whales” hold more than $25 billion worth of crypto, they are in no way close to the number of Non-criminal whales.
Chainalysis report states that Non-criminal whales contribute to about 96.3% of the total whales that possess digital assets. This makes the number of criminal whales venturing in crypto at a marginal 3.7%.