Links between China chemical firms and crypto revealed

Research from blockchain analysts reveals how China-based organizations are earning millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies by selling opioids.

China-based chemical firms have been suspected of supplying fentanyl to drug cartels overseas in exchange for cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain research firms investigating criminal gangs involved in cryptocurrency criminal activity in China have found that millions of dollars in digital assets have been earned through fentanyl trading.

Elliptic, a London-based analytics firm, published a report identifying an estimated 90 China-based companies said to have sold fentanyl precursors in exchange for digital assets.

Over the years, various cryptocurrency wallets used by the firms have received thousands of payments, totalling $27m, with the most popular token accepted by these suppliers being Bitcoin, followed by the stablecoin Tether (USDT), said the report.

Additionally, American blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis has reported crypto addresses associated with China-based sellers of chemicals (used to make the harmful narcotic, which has decimated the poorest parts of many of America’s largest cities) had received over $37m worth of cryptocurrency payments since 2018.

Regardless of China’s sweeping ban forbidding the use of cryptocurrencies in the country, the findings indicate that citizens are still finding ways to bend the rules and access numerous digital assets.

Earlier in May, it was reported that Chinese internet users were gaining access to Sam Altman’s cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin, by purchasing biometric data from Cambodia and some African countries.

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Written by Isabella Aslam


Isabella is an experienced writer in B2B and B2C journalism. Alongside crypto, Isabella writes and discusses the topics of relationships and psychology. Isabella holds a first-class degree in music journalism and often interviews electronic artists and DJs.

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