Chainalysis executive: Bitcoin accounts for over 95% of crypto crime

25 Apr, 2019 | Updated: 25 Apr, 2019
by Richard Allen
Security
Chainalysis executive: Bitcoin accounts for over 95% of crypto crime

Jonathan Levin, co-founder and COO of Chainalysis recently sat down with Fortune on the latest episode of Balancing the Ledger. According to Levin, despite there being over 2,000 cryptocurrencies, including privacy-focused coins, criminals overwhelmingly prefer Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is by far the favorite,” Levin says, whose company provides software to trace blockchain transactions.

He notes that the recent string of opioid-related arrests in the US over the last few months have come as a direct result of blockchain analysis, allowing authorities to trace illegal purchases of fentanyl and other drugs paid for in cryptocurrency.

“What we’ve seen is that there is the ability to tie some of those cryptocurrency transactions either to the pharmacies in China or to the services that people are using to distribute fentanyl,” he says. “Homeland Security and the DEA have actually become really good at apprehending those people.”

Levin explains that Bitcoin is the first choice for criminals is because, unsurprisingly, it’s the most valuable. It also has the highest transaction volume of any of its peers, making it easier to trade and spend.

The COO adds that, despite Bitcoin’s overwhelming popularity amongst crypto criminals, Chainalysis has developed real-time transaction monitoring for 10 cryptocurrencies, as well as a host of stablecoins, as a result of law enforcement agencies investigating hacks on crypto exchanges.

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