According to a new report, of all the resources sent to crypto fraud addresses, most of them came from Eastern Europe. In the last year alone, crypto addresses based in the region have sent an incredible $ 815 million in cryptocurrency to fraudulent schemes.
Eastern Europe leads according to the volume of illegal crypto transactions
Among the world’s regions with a total cryptocurrency volume of at least $ 400 million, Eastern Europe is the only region where illegal activity exceeds 0.5% of the total value sent and received, Chainalysis said in his report The Geography of Cryptocurrency in 2021.
“Between June 2020 and July 2021, Eastern European-based addresses sent $ 815 million in fraud, just behind Western Europe.”
Crypto addresses in Eastern European countries have the second highest level of exposure to illegal addresses, with Africa at the top of the list and Latin America at the top. However, overall Eastern Europe has a much larger cryptocurrency economy than any of the first three regions.
Analysts also noted that Eastern Europe accounts for the largest share of fraudulent web traffic during the period under review. Of all the nations, Ukraine is a strong leader with more than double the number of visits.
The total number of monthly Eastern European visitors to fraudulent websites peaked at 12.5 million in January.
Ponzi scheme Finiko has raised more than $ 1.5 billion worth of BTC in two years
Chainalysis further notes that more than half of the value sent to fraudulent addresses from Eastern Europe went to one specific fraud based in Russia – Finiko. The Ponzi scheme, which attracted cryptocurrency investors with a promising monthly return of up to 30%, ended in July after receiving more than $ 1.5 billion worth of BTC since December 2019, mostly from Russian and Ukrainian cryptocurrency holders.
According to Russian media, Finiko is led by Kirill Doronin, an instagram influencer who is also linked to other schemes. With declining incomes amid the economic difficulties exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemics, the fraud targeted people who needed extra money. Many Russians failed in the financial pyramid scheme, as they did in the wild 90´s.
The officially estimated damage in the case of Finiko has meanwhile reached 250 million rubles (over $ 3.4 million), Forklog said. The website quoted the latest version of the indictment against the founder of the pyramid in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. However, independent experts claim that the total losses exceed $ 4 billion. To date, 80 individuals have been identified as victims of fraud, although the number of depositors is estimated to be at least 850,000.