Chinese companies selling synthetic opioid chemicals raked in $27M in crypto payments
blockchain analytics company Ellipse said On May 23, it was announced that several Chinese companies selling precursors to the synthetic opioid fentanyl received millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.
Elliptic reported that its researchers have interacted with more than 90 companies in China that have offered to sell fentanyl precursors.
According to the analytics firm, 90% of these companies were willing to accept payments in cryptocurrencies, and 17 were willing to supply fentanyl itself.
Wallet received a large amount of cryptocurrency
Elliptic determined that cryptocurrency wallets owned by chemical providers received over $27 million in cryptocurrency. That amount could afford to buy enough fentanyl precursors to produce tablets with a distribution value of $54 billion, the report said.
Elliptic said chemical providers were being paid for thousands of transactions. He also noted a 450% year-over-year increase in the number of transactions to these wallets, with one fentanyl trafficker paying tens of thousands of dollars.
Elliptic reported that suppliers mostly accepted Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT). Elliptic analysis shows a 450% year-over-year increase in payments sent to precursor supplier addresses.
Of the addresses shared by precursor suppliers analyzed by Elliptic, payments in Bitcoin (BTC) accounted for 66% of total transactions, while Tether (USDT) payments on the Tron blockchain accounted for 21% and those on the Ethereum blockchain. USDT payments accounted for 13%. of total transactions. Other cryptocurrencies accounted for only 1% of all transactions.
Elliptic noted that some companies offer other chemicals, many of which can be used to make other synthetic opioids, methamphetamines and amphetamines.
The analytics firm notified the exchange of the illegal activity and flagged the cryptocurrency addresses involved in the sale.
The story of a Chinese company selling synthetic opioid chemicals raising $27 million in cryptocurrency settlements first appeared on CryptoSlate.