An Elevation in Dark Web Usage of Cryptocurrency

Dark Side of Cryptocurrency

An Elevation in Dark Web Usage of Cryptocurrency – Cryptocurrency has been on the headline lately by creating hype globally, despite all of its benefits, such as facilitating easier and faster transactions with decreased or no costs, and not to mention its potential to improve financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked, it does has a dark side. 

There are several reports about the dark web usage of cryptocurrency, but a recent event of dark web activity is putting the fate of cryptocurrency in question.

Criminals on the dark web have created a tool to check purity of their cryptocurrency

On the dark web, a newly uncovered tool allows crooks to check the purity of their Bitcoin.

According to Tom Robinson, co-founder of London-based blockchain investigative firm Elliptic, the application, named ‘Antinalysis’, was likely designed by an administrator of a darknet market to help their merchants launder Bitcoin.

The assessment aids criminals in determining the likelihood that cryptocurrency exchanges will identify their crypto as proceeds of crime. These capabilities are provided by Elliptic to crypto exchanges.

Bitcoin obtained through darknet marketplaces, ransomware, or theft is regarded as an “extreme risk” asset, whereas Bitcoin obtained through exchanges and newly generated coins is classified as a “no risk” asset.

Elliptic ran the tool through its paces and discovered that it has trouble finding linkages to key dark web markets and stated “This is somewhat unsurprising—providing accurate blockchain analytics over lengthy periods of time necessitates tremendous investment in technology and data collection.”

How does the tool work?

When a wallet is linked to Antinalysis, the software dissects where the Bitcoin it has comes from and how safe it is to keep it.

Antinalysis is operated by Tor, a privacy-focused web browser that gives you access to the dark web. This report will cost you merely $3. For a criminal laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars, $3 is nothing. However, if the service is paid for, it may arouse suspicions. 

If this didn’t make you question the current monetization of this currency policy, here is another one.

Also Read: Hacker Steals $600 Million in Digital Asset from PolyNetwork

A Dark Web drug dealer is laundering million in Bitcoin from prison

A Maryland federal court has jailed a dark web drug merchant known as Ryan Farace (Xanaxman) with laundering $137 million in Bitcoin from prison.

Farace was ordered by the court in November 2018 to pay 4,000 Bitcoin obtained from narcotics sales. That amount of Bitcoin was worth $16,800 at the time, but it is now worth $187.2 million. In addition, he was ordered to surrender $5.6 million in cash and property. Despite serving a 57-month prison sentence, Farace continued to launder money on the dark web.

Farace, with the help of his father Joseph Farace, allegedly laundered narcotics revenues between October 2019 and April 2021. The Drug Enforcement Administration seized 2,875 Bitcoin in February and another batch of 59 Bitcoin in May in connection with these claims. Those Bitcoins value is worth $137 million now.

While the indictment mentions narcotics proceeds, it’s unclear whether Farace’s Bitcoin holdings were previously unknown to the government or Bitcoin he obtained while in prison, those Bitcoins are yet to hit the market.

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