Cryptocurrency is the lifeblood of ransomware gangs, and their illicit use of crypto could hit record numbers this year. While overall crypto proceeds, including from crimes such as scams, fell dramatically over the past year, ransomware funds are expected to hit $899 million in 2023.
Crypto transfers to known illicit entities such as scam sites, darknet markets and fraud shops plummeted 65% this year compared to last, while risky entities such as mixers and high-risk exchanges saw a 42% decline, Chainalysis said in a midyear report.
But ransomware-related funds continue to grow in 2023, the researchers said. Attackers extorted $175.8 million more in 2023 than they did during the same period in 2022.