U.S. identifies Bitcoin transactions valued at $5.2 billion and linked to ransomware

Bitcoin

The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has identified Bitcoin transactions linked to the most common ransomware variants. These outbound transactions are worth approximately $5.2 billion.

In total, FinCEN booked 177 convertible virtual currency (CVC) wallet addresses after inspecting 2,184 suspicious activity reports (SARs) from between January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2021.

As a result of this blockchain analysis of transactions linked to 177 CVC wallets, the network has recognized some $5.2 billion in transactions in the most famous cryptocurrency to date. These were outbound and are potentially related to ransomware payments.

According to Financial Crime Control Network estimates, the total value of ransomware-related SARs during the first 6 months of 2021 was $590 million. This exceeds the $416 million reported during all of 2020.

They obtained this data by analyzing 635 SARs filed by financial institutions between January and June of this year. These are more than the 487 SARs received during all of last year.

In these SARs, FinCEN identified 68 active ransomware variants, including REvil, DarkSide, Avaddon and Phobos.

Measures against ransomware payment channels

This FinCEN analysis comes after governments announced that they will crack down on cryptocurrency payment channels used by ransomware gangs.

Through this method, the authorities aim to reduce the abuse of virtual assets by ransomware groups on a global scale. Thus, this initiative wants to deplete their ransomware accounts and terminate their operations.

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