September 24, 2021

Eastern Europe emerges as hotbed of crypto scams, costing investors millions

Eastern Europe has become a hotbed for cryptocurrency scams, according to a new analysis, with addresses in the region having a high rate of exposure to illicit transactions — second to only Africa. 

A new report from Chainalysis, a blockchain forensics firm, mapped out the crypto crime landscape of Eastern Europe over the past year. Notably, a little-known billion dollar Ponzi scheme called Finiko accounted for more than half of funds in the region sent to scam addresses.

Indeed, crypto scams emanating from the region’s 290 million strong population are only dwarfed by the continent of Africa, which has a far larger estimated population — 1.3 billion people. According to the report, illegal crypto activity made up 0.5 percent of total crypto value, or more than $400 million sent and received from Eastern Europe.

With a market capitalization already at $2 trillion, half a percent of all the region’s crypto transactions is…

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