In 2023, about $34.9 billion in crypto was involved in illegal transactions. At that, 45% of transactions occurred on the Tron network. Ethereum and Bitcoin networks accounted for another 24% and 18%, respectively.

Tron Accounts for 45% of Illegal Crypto Transactions

According to the TRM Labs report, the Tron blockchain was one of the critical nodes of the illicit crypto economy in 2023. Analysts found that last year, about 45% of illegal crypto transactions were made on the Tron network. 

Besides, 24% and 18% of illegal transactions were made on Ethereum and Bitcoin, respectively. The stablecoin Tether (USDT) became the most popular digital asset for illegal transactions in 2023 — analysts attributed about 1.63% of the total volume of transactions using it (~$19.3 billion) to questionable operations. 

In 2022, the Tron blockchain accounted for about 41% of the volume of illicit transactions, indicating an increase of the network’s use in the illicit crypto economy. Analysts noted that in 2023, USDT on Tron was most actively used to finance terrorism — the volume of this type of transaction increased by 125%.

Earlier, Bitrace analysts discovered that about $64.25 billion was laundered on the Tron network over the past one and a half years.

TRM analysts also found that in 2023, $34.9 billion in crypto was involved in illegal operations, which is 29% less than in 2022. About a third of that amount was attributed to fraudulent crypto schemes and scams of various kinds — total assets moved to addresses that TRM analysts linked to fraudsters totaled $12.5 billion in 2023. 

In 2023, $1.6 billion worth of crypto was used to buy drugs on the darknet. Another roughly $1.8 billion was stolen in crypto attacks, about half of which were carried out by hackers from North Korea. Earlier, Chainalysis analysts claimed that North Korean hacking groups account for only one-third of all attacks on Web3 projects.Circle stopped minting USDC on the Tron network, citing its decision to comply with regulatory requirements. However, Tether plans to continue to support Tron despite the opinion about its active use in the shadow economy of Southeast Asia.

Author: Ana Bustos García
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