According to a new report from blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, the volume of illicit activity involving cryptocurrencies has declined by 15% this year.
Chainalysis, in its “Mid-year Crypto Crime Update” report, explained that the total revenue for crypto scams in 2022 currently sits at $1.6 billion, 65% lower than what it was in July 2021. This can be linked to dwindling prices in the crypto market.
But while the overall level of crypto crime has dropped by 15%, some forms of crypto-based crimes have increased this year. “If we dig into specific forms of cryptocurrency-based crime, we find that some have actually increased in 2022, while others have declined more than the market overall,” the firm wrote.
Since January 2022, scam revenue has fallen more or less in line with Bitcoin pricing […] The cumulative number of individual transfers to scams so far in 2022 is the lowest it’s been in the past four years.
Chainalysis suggests that crypto scams are becoming less enticing due to the prices of cryptocurrencies in the ongoing bear market. Notably, Bitcoin is currently trading at around $23,700, down from its all-time high of over $68,500 in November 2021. According to them, fewer people are falling for cryptocurrency scams because “inexperienced users” who are more likely to fall for scams are less active in the current market.
Another hypothesis for the decline is that there has been no single major scam in 2022 compared to previous years, Chainalysis noted.
It’s also important to remember that scam revenue is often driven by large outliers, such as PlusToken, which netted over $2 billion from victims in 2019, or Finiko, which netted over $1.5 billion in 2021. […] The biggest scam of 2022 so far has netted $273 million worth of cryptocurrency, just 24% of Finiko’s revenue through the end of July in 2021.
Furthermore, Chainalysis reports that as of July 2022, $1.9 billion had been stolen in crypto hacks. Comparatively, under $1.2 billion was stolen during the same period last year.