Ransomware revenue in crypto in 2021 has been traced to strains connected to Russia with most of the extorted funds laundered through services that primarily cater to Russian users, blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis reported.

Fast facts

  • Around 74% of the over US$400 million worth of crypto ransomware revenue last year was directed to strains that are highly likely to be affiliated with Russia, Chainalysis said.
  • Russia ranked 18th in Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index, and was the third-largest crypto miner in the world, as of August 2021.
  • In Moscow, the Russian capital, crypto business laundered US$647 million worth of illicit cryptocurrency between 2019 and 2021, Chainalysis said. 
  • One of Moscow’s most prestigious buildings, The Federation Tower, is a haven for crypto companies involved in crypto laundering, Chainalysis said. 
  • Some of these businesses received over 30% of total cryptocurrency income from illicit sources, indicating they knowingly service cybercriminals, the report said.