Cryptocurrency holders often resort to the services of bitcoin mixers because of privacy reasons, and not in an attempt to hide illegal income. The share of the stolen cryptocurrency in the total volume is small. This is evidenced by the results of the study of the analytical blockchain startup Chainalysis.
According to company statistics, only 8.1% of coins in mixers were stolen, and 2.7% were used to make deals in the Darknet. Another 1.9% of coins are transferred from gambling sites, which can be considered illegal depending on the jurisdiction.
At the same time, users of Darknet markets are more likely to send cryptocurrency directly from exchange wallets. 40% of coins come to bitcoin mixers from traditional exchanges, 7.7% – from p2p platforms. More than a quarter of the coin mixed comes from other mixers.
In addition, Chainalysis analysts have found that centralized mixers accept more dubious coins than their decentralized counterparts. Thus, the centralized service Bestmixer, closed by law enforcement on May 2019, was used to mix more than 27,000 BTC of illegal origin ($200 million at that time).
For comparison, Wasabi’s decentralized wallet was used for mixing bitcoins worth about $10 million in the first few months of this year, and in August it was $90 million. Since the beginning of the year, Wasabi’s wallet has been used for mixing about $250 million.
Analysts said bitcoin has become more used in the financing of terrorism. At the same time, the use of cryptocurrency for legitimate purposes is also growing.
“Processing firms BitPay, Flexa, Coinpayments, WebMoney, Coinify and Square are recording a significant increase in payments in 2019, and the number of transactions increased by more than 50% compared to the beginning of the year,” Chainalysis reported.
Earlier in August, Chainalysis introduced a real-time Alert system, Chainalysis KYT, which informs the user of suspicious transactions.