Russia's Ponzi scheme called Finiko has managed to accumulate over $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin between December 2019 and August 2021 in over 800,000 deposits, a blockchain forensic company Chainalysis has learned. The firm says in a recent blog post that this Ponzi scheme represents a "massive fraud perpetrated against Eastern European cryptocurrency users." The target market predominantly was in Russia and Ukraine.
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Chainalysis says many scam operators are also located just in the same region as victims. Between July 2020 and May 2021, Eastern European addresses have received ~ $950 million worth of cryptocurrency from scam addresses. Finiko accounts for more than half of that transaction value.
The firm also found that ransomware strains associated with Eastern Europe account approximately 90% of all ransomware payment volume. This share has been growing on a year basis.
As iHodl earlier reported, Russian lawmakers are developing amendments to the current legislation aimed at enabling the confiscation of crypto assets, which have become sources of income from criminal activities. According to Russia's Prosecutor General, Igor Krasnov, the criminal use of cryptocurrencies in Russia is "a serious challenge,” and has highlighted the adoption of the law "On Digital Assets" as an important step in this direction.
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