20% Hike in 1Q20 Darknet Use of Bitcoin Transaction Mixers

The use of bitcoin transaction mixers by darknet entities have witnessed a leap in the first quarter (1Q) of 2020.

Bitcoin sent to Mixers reached 7,946 in 1Q20, up from 790 in 1Q20, according to Crystal Blockchain for crypto analytics.

The value of BTC transaction also increased from $3m in 1Q19 to $67m in 1Q20, the Tuesday report added.

It noted that such a jump in the amounts of bitcoin refers to the “rapid adoption of crypto mixing services by darknet entities.”

Moreover, the bitcoin received by dark web entities from mixers increased three-fold, from 106 in 1Q19 to 288 in 1Q20.

“This equates to a significant increase in US dollar received from these services, close to $2m in 1Q20 compared to $400,000 in 1Q19,” the report added.

Crystal Blockchain concluded, “It seems that exchanges with verification requirements are becoming less popular, while mixers are becoming more popular for withdrawing from darknet entities.”

Furthermore, the report suggested, “Bitcoin increasingly becomes a place for malicious and criminal activities,” due to its availability to anyone.

Bitcoin a financial tool for darknet

Crystal Blockchain voiced concerns over the continuing increase in the use of bitcoin by darknet entities.

“These statistics indicate that bitcoin continues to be a financial tool for darknet entities,” the report highlighted.

More exchanges now implement the FATF requirements. However, users of darknet are trying to “avoid the risk of the unveiling their activity by those exchanges.”

To veil darknet activities, darknet users started to prefer mixing services to exchanges for withdrawal of cryptocurrency.

This is likely in response to increased regulation and verification processes for exchanges. These led darknet bitcoin owners toward other services to obfuscate the source of their coins.

However, such activities are easy to be monitored and identified with analytical tools such as Crystal Blockchain, the report asserted.

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Fatma Lotfi 11 Articles
Egyptian bilingual journalist with six years of experience, focusing on various beats, including tech, cryptocurrencies, and finance.