Bitcoin transactions can be tracked. Criminals behind $42 million USD money laundering operation arrested

Cryptocurrencies have become a viable alternative to multiple online transactions, including those made with illicitly obtained resources due to the difficulty of tracking an operation. In this situation, the Binance exchange platform has developed various anti-fraud systems with the ability to detect these operations.

The starting point of these investigations is the detection of suspicious behavior associated with illegal activity, signals that serve as input to fraud detection models. Because Binance is one of the most important cryptocurrency exchange platforms, it is impossible to analyze the volume of manually generated data, so its developers created various algorithms for detecting fraudulent activities; if the system detects potential fraud, Binance analysts review the information and act as appropriate.

The main task of security teams at Binance is to identify transactions between the platform and any exchange center considered potentially fraudulent (also called bulletproof actors). These platforms are used by threat actors to remove assets obtained from illicit activities, as well as having much more lax hosting rules compared to those established in Binance or other legitimate platforms.

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Binance formed an alliance with TRM Labs, an emerging technology company, to perform a comprehensive blockchain analysis, detecting that these bulletproof platforms are established in regions of the world with little or no regulation, as well as that they record high numbers of transactions related to ransomware attacks and collection of activities carried out on dark web.

Binance’s commitment to combating money laundering goes far beyond the implementation of these mechanisms, as the platform has increased its budget for this analysis and demonstrated its full cooperation with the authorities in investigating these cases. A recent investigation by the Ukrainian Cyber Police, in collaboration with Binance, led to the detection and arrest of a cybercriminal group associated with a ransomware and money laundering campaign that generated profits of more than $40 million in just a couple of years.

There is still a long way to go, but experts believe this is a big step in combating money laundering activities using cryptocurrency.