Thursday, June 13, 2024

Southeast Asia’s Illicit Crypto Activities Exposed: Bitrace Uncovers $115 Billion in USDT in 2022

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Stanislav Shishkin
Stanislav Shishkin
Stanislav is one of the lead copywriters on and discusses all recent events in the crypto market. This includes news updates, but also price analyzes and more. He developed his passion for cryptocurrency during the bull run in 2017. He has learned a lot since then. The combination of cryptocurrency and creative writing is perfect for Jeroen and an excellent way to share his knowledge with a wide audience. Stanislav at

A seismic exposé by blockchain analytics firm Bitrace has laid bare the staggering scale of illegal cryptocurrency activities across Southeast Asia. Their data provides an unfiltered look into the region’s sprawling crypto underworld.

While cryptos are lauded for their anonymity and borderless nature, these very qualities have proved irresistible for crime syndicates in Southeast Asia. Billions in crypto flow unchecked daily through online gambling sites, money laundering schemes, and fraud networks.

Tether’s USDT has emerged as the currency of choice for these unlawful activities. Per Bitrace’s analysis, a jaw-dropping $115 billion in USDT was channeled through Southeast Asian illicit operations just last year.

Of this figure, $371.6 billion USDT poured into online gambling platforms, while nearly $700 billion USDT was flagged for money laundering. Comparatively smaller, around $4.6 billion USDT, was tied to fraudulent activities.

Major exchanges likely processed much of these illicit transactions unknowingly. However, Bitrace noticed certain platforms were clearly favored by illegal crypto operators in the region, particularly Chinese nationals.

Yet blockchain’s transparency provides a critical weapon against this hidden economy. Leveraging labeled addresses and intelligence, Bitrace can track down players and funds associated with illegal crypto activities.

The implications are clear – as crypto faces growing scrutiny, regulators must combat unlawful stablecoin and crypto use aggressively. With the right tools, the tide can be turned against Southeast Asia’s swelling illicit crypto market.


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