The volume of cryptocurrency transactions grew to $15.8 trillion in 2021, up 567% from 2020, in a sign that the trading of digital assets is becoming increasingly mainstream. Illicit transactions totaled $14 billion in 2021, up 79% from $7.8 billion the previous year. But illicit transactions only made up 0.15% of cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2021.
In its report, Chainalysis warns that its tracked volume of illicit activity is likely to rise later as the company identifies more bad actors and incorporates data gained from that into its historical analysis. The company added that with the exception of 2019, which was notable for the PlusToken cryptocurrency scam, bad actors have made up a smaller component of overall cryptocurrency transaction volume over the past few years.