Cryptocurrency Forensics Firm Elliptic Ties $400M in XRP to Illicit Activities

Cryptocurrency forensics and analysis firm Elliptic has tied about $400 million worth XRP tokens to illegal transactions.

In a press release published on Nov. 20, the firm indicated that “the $400m of illicit activity identified by Elliptic represents less than 0.2% of total XRP transactions, demonstrating that the vast majority of activity is legitimate.”

Tracing XRP’s relation to illicit activities

Elliptic began analyzing XRP over a year ago and has identified that several hundred XRP accounts are related to illegal activity — from thefts to the sale of stolen credit cards, the release further reads. Commenting on the findings, Tom Robinson, chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic, said:

"As criminal use of crypto-assets such as XRP evolves, we are committed to shining a light on this illicit activity, giving financial institutions the confidence they need to engage with the crypto ecosystem. XRP is gaining increasing traction in the APAC region among financial institutions and banks."

The firm revealed its findings as part of the introduction of the beta version of transaction monitoring support for XRP that enables clients to check if a transaction is linked to criminal activities or sanctioned entities. In its analysis, Elliptic conducts ongoing dark web research, identification of money laundering patterns, and collects data that links XRP accounts to known entities.

Fighting illicit use of cryptocurrencies

Recently, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis launched alerts for suspicious transactions across 15 major cryptocurrencies. The tool is meant to help cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial institutions mitigate their regulatory and reputational risks.

Although crypto companies generally try to incentivize network integrity by setting up bounty programs that reward so-called white-hack hackers for exposing vulnerabilities, some industry members like John McAfee argue that authorities should not require cryptocurrency companies and trading platforms to help them control digital currency use in illicit activities.