In October, when Elliptic published the first edition of its now annual report, the analytics firm had predicted that funds laundered through decentralized exchanges (DEXs), cross-chain bridges and non-KYC exchange services (called coin swaps) “would rise to $6.5 billion by the end of 2023.”
Far exceeding its original estimate, Elliptic today announced that $7 billion of “illicit or high-risk funds” have been laundered using “cross-chain and cross-asset services.”
Elliptic’s new report, however, shows that figure had already hit this high mark as of July of this year. “Criminals are using more complex cross-chain methods, such as derivatives trading and limit orders, to obfuscate their laundering activities,” the firm said in a statement.
Between July 2022 and July of this year Elliptic said $2.7 billion was laundered through coin swaps, bridges and DEXs.
The firm also pinpointed the North Korean Lazarus Group as the top culprit. “The Lazarus Group is singularly the largest source of all illicit funds laundered through cross-chain bridges and the third largest source of all cross-chain crime overall, having laundered over $900 million through cross-chain methods,” said Elliptic.
Based in London, Elliptic focuses on risk management for digital-asset organizations, governments and traditional financial institutions. Its investors include J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital.
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