The second annual research report by cloud security provider Armor shows that criminals are selling cash for bitcoin on darkweb marketplaces at a substantially reduced rate. 

Pennies on the Dollar Money Laundering

According to the report, Armor researchers examined 12 different hacker marketplaces over the course of five months and determined that cash was being sold for bitcoin at pennies on the dollar. The report states that darkweb markets are thriving despite the continued crackdown on their existence. 

More concerning for crypto users was the discovery that criminals were using bitcoin to aid in laundering stolen funds.

The report says, 

One of the cleverest services spotted was where a criminal can pay a seller $800 in Bitcoin and have $10,000 transferred to a bank account of their choice or wired to them via Western Union, a seamless turn-key money laundering service.

While 12 cents on the dollar may appear a poor exchange for illicitly obtained funds, the Armor report claims it poses an attractive avenue for less experienced criminals. 

Chris Hinkley, head of Armor’s TRU team, explained, 

For those scammers who don’t possess the technical skills and a robust money mule network to monetize online bank account or credit card credentials, this is an offer that can be very attractive…this clever service gives them an additional channel for monetizing the large amounts of financial data available on the underground.

While crypto scams and laundering reports have been common over the years, Armor’s report reveals the extent to which criminals are willing to go to move illicitly obtained funds. 


Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay