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An inquiry into the world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance has revealed that it has aided money laundering worth $2.35 billion through scams, hacks, and AML violations over a five year period.
According to the inquiry by Reuters, Binance has assisted money laundering in several cases throughout the period in the form of investment frauds, illegal drug sales, and hacks.
Dark web markets reportedly laundered a total of $839 million, whereas crypto scams like the Finiko Ponzi scheme, cyber storm fraud, and Thodex scam collectively laundered more than $1.29 billion. Additionally, hacks accounted for the laundering of $27 million.
The anonymity and privacy of crypto transactions allow the flow of illegal funds. XMR, also known as Monero, is a popular coin traded through Binance and has been pointed out for its use in money laundering. However, the coin is still being traded on the platform.
The U.S. government also hired crypto researcher Chainalysis to monitor illegal flows, and it was reported that Binance received criminal funds totalling $770 million in 2019 alone. Another report showed that a Russian-language site called Hydra used Binance to make and receive crypto payments worth $780 million.
On the 5th of May, Binance published an article namely, “Crypto and Money laundering: an inconvenient truth”. Here, the exchange platform points out that people against crypto always think crypto is worthless, or it’s a money laundering scheme.
The article reads, “Unlike cash, which is nearly impossible to track, Blockchain has proven to be one of the most powerful tools for law enforcement. The immutable, public nature of the blockchain makes crypto a poor choice for money laundering…”.