According to a new report by Reuters, at least $2.35 billion have been laundered through Binance in the period between 2017 and 2021. Reuters worked with blockchain analysis firms Crystal Blockchain and Chainalysis. It examined court records and spoke with law enforcement representatives in order to prepare the report.
Reuters claims that the North Korean hacking group Lazarus used Binance in September 2020 to launder money. They laundered some of the $5.4 million sum, which they had previously stolen from the Slovakian cryptocurrency exchange named Eterbase. According to Reuters, Binance refused to cooperate with Eterbase until receiving two official requests from Slovakia’s National Crime Agency.
According to U.S. law enforcement, the hacking group Lazarus is using illegally-acquired money to fund North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Chainalasyis estimates that Lazarus had stolen $1.75 billion worth of crypto by 2020.
Hydra, a Russian darknet site, is another implicated party. Namely, Reuters alleges that Hydra processed payments on Binance for drugs, amounting to a total of $780 million worth of payments.
Earlier this year, German law enforcement and the U.S. Justice Department successfully cooperated in a bid to bring down Hydra’s servers. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Hydra was responsible for 80% percent of all crypto transactions on darknet, and had received $5.2 billion since 2015.