Recovering Ransomed Bitcoin Sent To Exchanges – Bitcoin Magazine

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This is an opinion editorial by Matthew Green and Brian Mondoh, contributors for Bitcoin Magazine.

With all the available cryptocurrencies, including anonymity-designed bytecoin, monero and zcash, ransomware attackers continue to demand bitcoin and some reports show darknet markets are fuelled by bitcoin transactions (see pages 54 and 109 of the Chainalysis 2022 Crypto Crime Report). Seemingly, bitcoin remains one of the most valuable assets for criminals utilizing blockchain technology given its relative stability, price and relevance.

Similarly, in many cases, where other cryptocurrencies have been stolen, obfuscated or paid as part of a scam, funds are transferred into bitcoin and then extracted as fiat. In August 2021, Liquid exchange announced that 67 different ERC-20 tokens, along with large quantities of ether and bitcoin, had been moved by a party working on behalf of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The attacker swapped numerous tokens including ERC-20 tokens to ether and then bitcoin before cashing out. As a result, approximately $91.35M was laundered. Similar transfers were made in the Spartan Protocol hack in May 2021 where the attacker was able to steal approximately $30 million from the project.



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