Chainalysis, a blockchain data company, has revealed in a recent report that the criminal whales in the cryptocurrency ecosystem currently hold over $25 billion worth of various digital currencies from several illicit sources. The report added that the criminal whales represent 3.7% of all the existing crypto whales.
According to the firm, it was decided to investigate criminal whales in the industry by analyzing their balances. The report defines a criminal whale as any private wallet holding $1 million or more worth of crypto that has received over 10% of its funds from illicit addresses.
The report reads in part as follows:
‘Please recognize that because criminal whale balances are calculated based on private wallet holdings, while overall criminal balances are calculated based on the holdings of addresses tagged as illicit (meaning they can include funds held at services in addition to private wallets), the criminal whale balances discussed here won’t align with the overall criminal balances calculated…”
Criminal Whales Jointly Hold over $25 Billion
After the investigation, Chainalysis identified 4,068 criminal whales holding over $25 billion worth of crypto. They represent 3.7% of all cryptocurrency whales — that is, private wallets holding over $1 million worth of digital currency.
The blockchain data company went further to break down all criminal whales by the share of their total funds that comes from illicit sources.
“Most criminal whales received either a relatively small or extremely large share of their total balance from illicit addresses,” Chainalysis added.
The firm revealed in the chart that 1,374 criminal whales received between 10% and 25% of their total balance from illicit addresses. 1,361 criminal whales received between 90% and 100% of their total balance from illicit addresses. While 1,333 criminal whales received between 25% and 90% of all funds from illicit addresses.
The firm noted:
“Illicit funds received by criminal whales also come from more varied sources than the funds making up overall criminal balances.”
According to the report as indicated in the chart above, darknet markets are the biggest source of illicit funds sent to criminal whales, followed by scams and stolen funds.