Illicit Actors and Organizations in the aspect of cryptocurrency market

Illegal organisations, or other illegal cryptocurrency entities, are groups transacting with cryptocurrency whose activities do not necessarily rise to the level of criminality, but are nevertheless considered risky due to activities balancing on the edge of legality or reputational risk. One example of such entities are implicitly sex-related sites such as RubRatings. The site in question allows massage therapists to publish advertisements encouraging clients to use their sexual services and includes Bitcoin as a payment option. While services offered by the said website are as a rule legal, the RubRatings website implies the availability of sexual services and the site itself is listed as a human trafficking intermediary, therefore the RubRatings organisation, can be categorised as illegal.

Domestic Extremism and Racial Hatred

Another example relates to the organisations and public figures associated with domestic extremism and racial hatred. Many of these organisations accept donations in the form of cryptocurrencies, and it can be expected that more will follow, as with the current interest in cryptocurrencies, organisations will continue to move away from conventional payment. Examples confirming this trend are publications such as the Daily Stormer, as well as the work of public figures such as Nick Fuentes. Extremist rhetoric itself is generally not illegal in most jurisdictions, but many of these groups have been linked to incidents involving outright violence. Examples of such incidents include: The 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia or the 2021 riot in front of the US Capitol. In the latter case, Chainalysis found that several people with alt-right views, including some associated with the rally immediately preceding the riot, had received large donations in bitcoin one month earlier.

Who are Shadow Brokers?

The Shadow Brokers are an advanced hacking group that authored a cyber attack in 2017 where intelligence data belonging to the US National Security Agency (NSA) was hacked. The Shadow Brokers have also been implicated in a global ransomware attack called “WannaCry” that used EternalBlue, an NSA cyberweapon that the Shadow Brokers obtained in a previous attack.

The Shadow Brokers, in a statement, said they were determined to destroy the NSA, and in particular a Group called “Equation”. “Equation Group” is an offensive cyberwarfare unit within the NSA’s Computer Network Operations (CNO) unit, formerly called the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO).

Shadow Brokers, are understood to have emerged around the 2016 Democratic National Committee (DNC) period. This was an event to determine US presidential candidates, organised by the organisation of the same name. After the successful theft in 2017, the hackers auctioned off the stolen NSA tools in their possession and demanded 1 million Bitcoin, which at the time was around $600 million. They challenged the NSA and big tech players to buy the NSA tools at the auction, citing the public interest behind their activities as their argument. In a subsequent communication, they made the aforementioned data available online. and Darknetlive and Darknetlive, are news and information sites covering Darknet markets and other dark web activities. It provides the same kind of Darknet news and information that was previously provided by the now defunct DeepDotWeb.

The latter site, darknetlive, limits itself to providing only the addresses of various shops that can be found on the darknet. The former, on the other hand, also provides various information about events that take place in this dark side of the internet. We can learn there, for example, that the automated Televend website is under threat and are warned to continue using it.