• Blockchain analytics startup Elliptic found that Chinese companies selling fentanyl precursors accept large sums of cryptocurrency payments, mostly in bitcoin and tether.
• Over 90% of the businesses surveyed by Elliptic take cryptocurrencies as payment, with $27 million transferred to wallets connected to chemical suppliers.
• Bitcoin payments account for 66% of the total, while tether transfers on Tron and Ethereum networks make up 21% and 13%, respectively.
Cryptocurrency Payments Accepted By Chinese Fentanyl Chemical Vendors
Blockchain analytics startup Elliptic recently discovered that Chinese companies selling fentanyl precursors accept large sums of cryptocurrency payments, primarily in bitcoin (BTC) and tether (USDT). This information highlights the difficulties law enforcement has in the digital era when it comes to preventing illegal transactions using cryptocurrency.
Majority Of Businesses Accept Cryptocurrencies As Payment
Elliptic reported that over 90% of the Chinese enterprises polled by them that deal in fentanyl precursors accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Not only are these businesses providing ingredients used to make other synthetic opioids like amphetamines and methamphetamines, but there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of transactions involving them; more than $27 million has been sent to wallets connected to chemical suppliers.
Bitcoin And Tether Dominate Transactions
Among all payments made, bitcoin accounted for 66%, while tether transfers on Tron network made up 21%. In addition, 13% of all payments were made using tether transfers on the Ethereum network and just 1% was done via any other cryptocurrency.
Elliptic Working To Increase Transparency And Prevent Money Laundering
In order to increase transparency and safeguard against money laundering using crypto assets, Elliptic is informing cryptocurrency exchanges about certain wallets involved with illegal activities. Furthermore, they have uncovered these endeavors which could be used to purchase fentanyl precursors with a street value of $54 billion.
The difficulty in stopping this kind of illegal activity online is highlighted by the fact that many drug-related operations involve purchases using bitcoin from China. With blockchain analytics startups like Elliptic working towards increasing transparency, however, it may become easier for law enforcement agencies to identify suspicious activity related to cryptocurrencies.