In 2023, $22.2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were laundered compared to $31.5 billion the previous year, according to Chainalysis.

Cryptocurrency laundering is in free fall. According to the company Chainalysis, crypto-criminals laundered $22.2 billion in illicit cryptocurrencies in 2023 compared to $31.5 billion in 2022, a drop of 30% year-on-year. To convert cryptocurrencies into traditional currency, players mainly used centralized exchange platforms (72%).

“The good news is that centralized exchanges are capable of freezing and seizing cryptocurrency assets associated with illicit activities,” emphasizes Kim Grauer, director of research at Chainalysis. Due to proposed regulations in the sector, cryptocurrency exchange platforms have actually strengthened their anti-money laundering system.

Beyond exchange platforms, crypto-criminals use decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, which represents 13% of laundering activities. As a reminder, DeFi is an open financial system, accessible to any user, which allows certain traditional finance operations to be carried out, such as loans.


Finally, some malicious actors use so-called “cross-chain” bridges in order to conceal their transactions as best as possible.

“These bridges allow users to transfer funds from one blockchain to another, and over the past year, the use of these protocols by criminals for money laundering purposes has increased. “rably increased”, underlines Chainalysis.

The use of this alternative is increasing year-on-year, since bridges received $743.8 million in cryptocurrencies from illicit addresses in 2023, compared to $312.2 million the year before. yielding.


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