Dogecoin is increasingly linked to illicit activities such as Ponzi schemes, terrorist financing and child sexual abuse material (CSAM), according to a new report from blockchain analytics company Elliptic. According to the report, the meme coin has enjoyed increasing popularity as a payment method; however, in addition to legitimate causes, it has also drawn the attention of bad actors, with “millions of dollars in Dogecoin transactions connected to illicit activities” identified.
Dogecoin is under trial for involvement in illegal issues
“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),” Elliptic said.
Pointing to the “increasing adoption” of Dogecoin for terrorist financing, the report cited a July 2021 seizure order carried out by Israel’s National Counter Terrorist Financing Office against 84 cryptocurrencies believed to be linked. to the militant group Hamas or that are otherwise used in activities related to terrorism; among the cryptocurrencies were wallets containing $40,235 worth of DOGE.
The report also notes a “small and growing number” of CSAM sellers operating on both the darknet and the clearnet who have received payments in Dogecoin. Although the actual amount of Dogecoin identified by Elliptic in this case is low, less than $3,000, analysts warned that it points to an “appetite by criminal actors to adopt a wide range of crypto assets in an attempt to avoid detection.” .
Scams and Ponzi Schemes
The “most notable” crime related to Dogecoin, according to Elliptic, is thefts, scams, and Ponzi schemes.
According to the firm, to date it has identified more than 50 cases of theft, fraud, and Ponzi schemes that helped criminals make off with “hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Dogecoin.”
These include the $6 billion PlusToken Ponzi scheme, which resulted in the seizure of more than $20 million of DOGE by Chinese authorities in 2020, and an alleged theft of $119 million of Dogecoin linked to a Ponzi scheme. Turkish in 2021.
Far Right Extremists Embrace Crypto
Far-right groups — shut out of traditional fundraising methods — have also turned to cryptocurrencies, including Dogecoin, Elliptic noted.
According to the company, these include numerous far-right news sites, blogs, and video-sharing platforms.
One such news website, Infowars, which claims to be “fighting globalism and promoting a pro-human future around the world,” has so far raised over $1,700 (£1,383) worth of Dogecoin.
Elliptic’s findings mirror those of the Financial Action Task Force, which reported last year that far-right groups are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, and privacy coins.
Dogecoin, which has been heavily touted in recent months by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is currently the 10th largest cryptocurrency in the world with a market cap of over $8 billion.
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