Blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis reports that cryptocurrency-linked crime surged to a record high last year in terms of value.
According to Chainalysis, illegal addresses received $14 billion in digital currencies.
That is up 79% from $7.8 billion in 2020.
Today, illicit addresses already hold over $10 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, according to Chainalysis.
Illicit addresses are defined as wallets tied to criminal activities such as ransomware, Ponzi schemes and scams.
Total transaction volume surged to $15.8 trillion last year, up more than 550% from 2020 levels.
In its last crypto crime report, Chainalysis had said that 0.34% of 2020’s crypto transactions was associated with illegal activity.
That number has now been raised to 0.62%.
Chainalysis also said the rise in decentralized finance, or DeFi, has lent crypto crime a hand.
In 2020, less than $162 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from DeFi platforms, which was 31% of the year’s total amount stolen.
That represented a 335% increase over the total stolen from DeFi platforms in 2019.
In 2021, that figure rose another 1,330% to $2.3 billion, Chainalysis said.
DeFi transaction volume surged 912% in 2021, and Chainalysis said outsized gains on decentralized tokens like Shiba Inu have pushed investors to speculate on DeFi tokens.