Crypto mixer Tornado Cash laundered over $550m in 2023 despite sanctions

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Infamous crypto mixing service Twister Money laundered greater than half a billion value of crypto in 2023.

Though the U.S. imposed sanctions towards Tornado Cash in late 2022, the blending service remains to be serving to criminals launder a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands value of cryptocurrencies. In response to data compiled by SlowMist, in 2023 alone, Twister Money noticed round 314,740 ETH in withdrawals, valuing at round 818.3 million at present costs (or $567.2 million primarily based on 2023 charges).

In response to the analysts, North Korea-affiliated hackers Lazarus Group have shifted gears, changing into much less seen as they centered on laundering the “monumental cache of funds purloined in 2022.” Regardless of nonetheless a big quantity of funds being laundered by way of Twister Money, the general quantity passing by way of Twister Money has decreased by near 85% put up sanctions, TRM Labs said in an October 2023 report.

“Maybe most significantly, North Korean hackers seem to have largely deserted the service in favor of extra conventional Bitcoin mixers.”

TRM Labs

Regardless of the decline in Twister Money’s quantity post-sanctions, the crypto panorama stays rife with such mixing protocols as new companies proceed to emerge, looking for to fill the void left by the decline of Twister Money’s dominance available in the market.

In late November 2023, crypto.information reported that the U.S. Division of the Treasury’s Workplace of International Belongings Management (OFAC) imposed sanctions towards one other crypto mixing service referred to as Sinbad (previously for its function in serving to cash laundering for dangerous actors, together with North Korea’s Lazarus Group.

OFAC imposed sanctions towards Twister Money again in 2022, claiming the service was used to launder greater than $7 billion value of crypto since 2019. This included over $455 million stolen by Lazarus Group, greater than $96 million of malicious cyber actors’ funds derived from the Concord Bridge heist, and not less than $7.8 million from the Nomad heist.

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