A report from Elliptic points to a growth in the use of Dogecoin among criminals. Although it is most common in theft, fraud, and Ponzi schemes, it is also seen in other more serious crimes.
- Dogecoin gains traction for illicit use, Elliptic report says.
- Scams, fraud, financing of terrorism are some of the uses of DOGE.
- Although to a lesser degree, memecoin has also been linked to child sexual abuse material.
Looks like billionaire Elon Musk isn’t the only fan of Dogecoin and some malicious actors also prefer the doggy meme cryptocurrency.
A new research of the analysis firm blockchain, Elliptical, has shed light on some shady uses criminals make of cryptocurrency. Beyond its use for payment of legal goods and services, it was found that millions of dollars in Dogecoin (DOGE) are linked to illicit activities.
In his report, Elliptical highlighted the growing popularity that the memecoin has gained, a product of the constant promotion of Musk, CEO of Tesla, in social networks; however, he noted that attention has not escaped criminals, who have been increasingly using DOGE for criminal activities, some more shadowy than others.
While the vast majority of this activity consists of fraud, scams, and ponzi schemes, it also includes the most serious types of crime, including terrorist financing and vendors of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
DOGE linked to criminal activities
The report then delved into several of the illicit uses linked to Dogecoin. Regarding the financing of terrorism, Elliptical quoted a seizure order July 2021 conducted by Israel’s National Counter Terrorism Financing Office against 84 cryptocurrency addresses believed to be linked to the militant group Hamas, or that are otherwise used in activities related to terrorism. ANDAmong those addresses were wallets containing more than $40,000 worth of DOGE.
The firm also found several markets for the dark net that accept payments in doggy cryptocurrency in exchange for drugs, stolen data, and even child abuse material. However, with regard to the latter, the investigation indicated that the use of Dogecoin within the CSAM community is currently very lowwith less than USD $3,000 in identified payments.
The analysts of Elliptical they made the dimension not without warning that this trend of use points to a “appetite of criminal actors to adopt a wide range of crypto assets in an attempt to avoid being notified“.
Meanwhile, the illicit usemost notable” of DOGE continues to be those related to crimes such as thefts, scams and Ponzi schemes. According to the report, more than 50 cases of theft, fraud, and Ponzi schemes that helped criminals win have been identified to date.”hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Dogecoin“.
To illustrate these cases, the example the ponzi Scheme, PlusTokenof USD$ 6 billion, which resulted in the seizure of more than $20 million in DOGE by Chinese authorities in 2020; as well as an alleged theft of USD$119 million in Dogecoin linked to a turkish ponzi scheme in 2021.
Right-wing extremists and other dark uses
The investigation also addressed other dark cases linked to Dogecoinincluding malware and its use by radical right-wing groups.
Regarding the first, the analysts indicated that they had found “several campaigns” of malicious software designed to steal DOGE balances from its victims. Among them, one was mentionedmalware family called Cliptomaner that hijacks computers to mine cryptocurrencies” and that he has stolen close to USD $30,000 in Dogecoin.
Far-right extremist groups also appear to opt for Dogecoin, among other cryptocurrencies, when raising funds, according to the report. “Numerous news sites, blogs and video sharing platforms” of radical entities of the extreme right have adopted payments with DOGE; although the amount of funds of that currency linked to these organizations still seems to be low.
Although created as a joke in 2013, the report of Elliptical shows how the adoption of DOGE has grown in recent years, even among criminals. Nevertheless, is not the only one. Several recent investigations have already pointed out that the growing popularity of digital currencies has also fueled their relationship with illicit activities.
Article by Hannah Estefanía Pérez / DailyBitcoin
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