Chainalysis: Only 1% of $1 Trillion Transacted in Crypto in 2019 Was Illicit

According to Chainalysis’ March 5th webinar, over $1 trillion worth of cryptocurrency transactions took place in 2019 with only 1.1% of them being illicit. 

Source: Chainalysis

Diminishing of darknet markets

Overall, as crypto adoption keeps on growing and the number of use cases for cryptocurrency expands, illicit transactions on a percentage basis, keep diminishing; implying that the industry today is much healthier than in the early days when much of the volume was driven by darknet markets.

Industry-wide cooperation thwarts crypto hackers

Source: Chainalysis

As more cryptocurrency enters exchanges, they remain the most coveted targets for crypto hackers. However, the criminals’ success rate has decreased. There was an inflection point after 2018 when the criminals got away with almost 1 billion dollars worth of cryptocurrency. These numbers have been dwindling ever since.

Source: Chainalysis

Not only the exchanges have implemented more sophisticated cybersecurity measures, but the industry-wide cooperation and coordination with the various law-enforcement agencies helps secure the entire ecosystem. According to Chainalysis, this wide cooperation has helped client DragonEx recover some stolen funds.

Halving — newly-mined coins go straight to exchanges

Source: Chainalysis

The majority of freshly mined coins are going straight to exchanges. This fact is especially significant considering we are only 70 days away from the halving. This implies that after the halving, even if the miners decide to send all of their newly mined coins to the exchanges, this will not make up the shortfall from decreased mining reward.

Now, the ball is in the hackers’ court - they can either evolve or perish.