$400M worth of illicit XRP transactions uncovered

A recent analysis of the XRP network found $400 million worth of the crypto was tied to illicit activity. The analysis, done by London-based Elliptic found that the transactions were mainly tied to scams and the sale of stolen credit cards.

In a press release, the chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic revealed that the analysis comes from over a year’s worth of research. Dr. Tom Robinson stated, “We began researching XRP more than a year ago and have already identified several hundred XRP accounts linked to illicit activity ranging from thefts to scams and the sale of stolen credit cards.”

The crypto risk management solutions provider revealed the statistics while announcing transactions monitoring for XRP. The company will now allow financial institutions and regulators to screen XRP transactions for links to criminal links. Support for XRP is currently in beta and will be rolled out to the company’s clients in the first week of December.

Robinson remarked, “As criminal use of crypto-assets such as XRP evolves, we are committed to shining a light on this illicit activity, giving financial institutions the confidence they need to engage with the crypto ecosystem.”

The $400 million in illegal transactions identified by Elliptic represents 0.2% of all transactions. This is a bit lower than with some other cryptos including BTC and Ether where criminal activity accounts for at least 0.5%. Robinson attributed this to two reasons, the first of which is the lack of liquidity for XRP. Unlike other top cryptos which are quite liquid, XRP would be more difficult to cash out and this increases the chances that the criminal could be apprehended.

The second reason is because XRP is quite centralized. Speaking to The Next Web, Robinson stated, “XRP is [also] more centralized than other crypto-assets, and perhaps more associated with traditional finance – this might make it less attractive to illicit actors, who might prefer something more decentralized and ‘neutral’.”

The crypto risk management industry has continued to grow as more companies seek to ensure they comply with anti-money laundering requirements. Being one of the leaders in the field, Elliptic has attracted not just more clients, but also investors. As CoinGeek reported, the firm raised $23 million in its Series B funding round two months ago, led by Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings.

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