$7,000,000,000 in Illicit or High-Risk Funds Laundered Through Cross-Chain Protocols: Crypto Analytics Firm
Blockchain research firm Elliptic says the amount of funds laundered through cross-chain and cross-asset services reached a ten-figure sum in July this year.
In a new press release, Elliptic says that cross-chain crime is exceeding expectations after hitting the $7 billion level a couple of months ago, higher than the previously projected $6.5 billion figure by the end of the year.
The blockchain research firm says that the North Korean hacking organization, the Lazarus Group, is responsible for nearly 13% of the total funds laundered through cross-chain and cross-asset protocols.
“The Lazarus Group is singularly the largest source of all illicit funds laundered through cross-chain bridges and the third largest source of all cross-chain crime overall, having laundered over $900 million through cross-chain methods.”
Elliptic notes that nearly 39% of the illicit or high-risk funds were laundered over a one-year period.
“$2.7 billion has been laundered through cross-chain crime between July 2022 – July 2023.”
According to Elliptic, more than 80 different crypto assets are held by sanctioned and terrorist entities in over 26 blockchains.
On the growing sophistication of cross-chain and cross-asset crime, Elliptic says,
“Criminals are using more complex cross-chain methods – such as derivatives trading and limit orders – to obfuscate their laundering activities.”
Last year, Elliptic predicted that illicit or high-risk funds laundered through cross-chain bridges, decentralized exchanges and coin-mixing services could reach $10.5 billion by 2025.