On Wednesday, a coalition of international law enforcement agencies revealed that they have dismantled ChipMixer, a popular crypto laundering service on the dark web. In the process, they seized over $46 million in crypto and terabytes of server data. Last year, the service was used by the hacker who stole funds from the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX and several ransomware groups.
According to Europol’s press release, “The ChipMixer software blocked the blockchain trail of the funds, making it attractive for cybercriminals looking to launder illegal proceeds from criminal activities such as drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, ransomware attacks, and payment card fraud.” The service turned deposited funds into “chips,” small tokens with equivalent value that were then mixed together, thus obscuring all trails to the source of the initial funds.
ChipMixer was established in mid-2017 and, according to Europol, was allegedly used to launder 152,000 Bitcoins, worth almost $2.5 billion. Blockchain analysis firm Elliptic estimated that ChipMixer laundered over $844 million in Bitcoin, including at least $666 million stolen. ChipMixer’s website now reads, “The platform and the criminal content have been seized.”