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New Elliptic research uncovers the true scale of cross-chain crime, as North Korean hackers and criminals adopt new crypto laundering tactics.

Cross-chain crime is accelerating faster than predicted, with $7 billion worth of illicit or high-risk funds laundered through cross-chain and cross-asset services

LONDON and NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Elliptic, the global leader in blockchain analytics solutions, today released its 2023 edition of the landmark report, ‘The State of Cross-chain Crime’.

The report reveals that $7 billion of illicit or high risk funds has been laundered through cross-chain and cross-asset services, with North Korean hackers, the Lazarus Group, responsible for $900 million of cross-chain crime.

In the first edition of this report, published in October 2022, Elliptic found that $4.1 billion of illicit or high-risk funds had been laundered through decentralized exchanges, cross-chain bridges and coin swap services up to, and including, July 2022. At that time, the company predicted that this figure would rise to $6.5 billion by the end of 2023 and $10.5 billion by 2025.

Using new research methodologies empowered by Elliptic’s Holistic blockchain analytics, the report uncovers the true scale of cross-chain crime, including:

  • Cross-chain and cross-asset services have been used to launder $7 billion worth of illicit or high-risk funds up to and including July 2023. $2.7 billion has been laundered through cross-chain crime between July 2022July 2023.
  • Sanctioned and terrorist entities now hold over 80 different assets across more than 26 blockchains.
  • 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.
  • Criminals are using more complex cross-chain methods – such as derivatives trading and limit orders – to obfuscate their laundering activities.

“Over the past decade, Elliptic has helped to mitigate risk and bring transparency to blockchains by identifying and tracking illicit activities within the crypto ecosystem,” said Dr. Tom Robinson, Co-founder and Chief Scientist at Elliptic. “Now, with the innovative insights from our Holistic blockchain analytics capabilities released last year, we’ve seen that cross-chain crime continues to grow, as bad actors continue to exploit services such as decentralized exchanges (DEXs), cross-chain bridges, and coin swap services.”

For more information on the findings of the report, please contact the Elliptic team.

Media Contact: 
Amanda Abarno
VP, Marketing
press@elliptic.co

About Elliptic

Elliptic is the global leader in cryptoasset risk management for crypto businesses, governments, and financial institutions worldwide.

Recognized as a WEF Technology Pioneer and backed by investors including J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, SBI Group, and Santander Innoventures, Elliptic has assessed risk on transactions worth several trillion dollars, uncovering activities related to money laundering, terrorist fundraising, fraud, and other financial crimes.

Elliptic is headquartered in London with offices in New York, Singapore, and Tokyo. To learn more, visit www.elliptic.co.