– Chinese companies selling fentanyl precursors are accepting large sums of cryptocurrency payments, mainly in bitcoin and tether.
– Over 90% of Chinese enterprises polled by blockchain analytics start-up, Elliptic, accept cryptocurrency as payment for fentanyl precursors.
– Elliptic has uncovered these illegal activities and informed cryptocurrency exchanges of the participation of specific cryptocurrency wallets.
Chinese companies selling fentanyl precursors are accepting large sums of cryptocurrency payments, mainly in bitcoin and tether, according to blockchain analytics start-up Elliptic. The majority of these companies use „three specific exchanges“ based outside of China. Elliptic has discovered that over 90% of Chinese enterprises polled by the company that deal with fentanyl precursors accept cryptocurrency as payment. Some of these businesses also provide ingredients to make other synthetic opioids, such as amphetamines and methamphetamines.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of transactions involving these businesses, with over $27 million in cryptocurrency sent to wallets connected to chemical suppliers. Bitcoin payments comprised 66% of the total, with tether transactions on the Tron network making up 21%. In addition, 13% of all payments were made using tether transfers on the Ethereum network, whereas just 1% was done via any other cryptocurrency.
Elliptic has uncovered these illegal endeavors and informed cryptocurrency exchanges of the participation of specific cryptocurrency wallets. The goal is to increase transparency and safeguard the bitcoin market against money laundering. In China, fentanyl precursors are often purchased using bitcoin, highlighting the persistent difficulty of stopping illegal activity online.
Money like this might buy the fentanyl precursors needed to make tablets with a $54 billion street value. This information underscores the difficulties law enforcement has in the digital era in preventing the use of cryptocurrency in illegal transactions.
The discovery highlights the need for more comprehensive regulation and supervision of cryptocurrencies in order to prevent them from being used in illegal transactions such as the sale of fentanyl precursors. Efficient steps need to be taken to curb the illegal trade, which has the possibility of creating a global crisis.