Sanctioned Russian Crypto Mixer Blender Re-Launched as Sinbad, Elliptic Says
Main page News, North Korea, Blockchain, Money Laundering, Hacker Attack

Russia-linked crypto mixing protocol Blender, which was sanctioned by the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for helping North Korea with laundering stolen crypto, has apparently been re-launched as Sinbad, said a blockchain forensic firm Elliptic.

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In a blog post, the UK-based firm said that the newly re-launched mixer has laundered around $100 million in bitcoin (BTC) from hacks related to a cybergang Lazarus. The analysts believe that Sinbad was launched in early October 2022 after the mixer's address received bitcoin from a wallet associated with the operator of Blender.

"The on-chain pattern of behavior is very similar for both mixers, including the specific characteristics of transactions, and the use of other services to obfuscate their transactions," Elliptic says.

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Moreover, Sinbad just like Blender has a "clear nexus to Russia, with Russian-language support and websites," the analysts added. The blockchain firm assumes that OFAC could soon seek to impose further sanctions on Sinbad as the US authorities want to pull the plug on any North Korea-related scam activity in the crypto market.

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