Huione Guarantee Exposed: $11B in Tether (USDT) Transactions Tied to Cyber Scams and Money Laundering

  • The cryptocurrency community has been rocked by revelations from blockchain researchers, revealing the extensive use of online marketplaces for fraudulent activities in Southeast Asia.
  • A recent investigation sheds light on the operations of Huione Guarantee, an online marketplace that has allegedly facilitated transactions amounting to $11 billion.
  • Substantial evidence suggests that a significant portion of these transactions is tied to money laundering and various cyber scams.

Discover the dark underbelly of cryptocurrency transactions as Elliptic uncovers the operations of Huione Guarantee, linked to $11 billion in illicit activities.

Elliptic’s Investigation into Huione Guarantee

The Elliptic research team has recently conducted a thorough investigation into Huione Guarantee, an online marketplace run by Huione Group, a Cambodian conglomerate. Initially launched in 2021 to trade real estate and vehicles, Huione Guarantee has evolved into a haven for cyber scam operators. The platform supports bank transfers and payment apps but prominently relies on Tether (USDT) for transactions, which offers more traceability than direct fiat payments.

The Role of Money Laundering Services on Huione Guarantee

The investigation highlights that the most significant entities operating on Huione Guarantee offer intricate money laundering services. These include receiving victim payments, cross-border fund transfers, and converting illicit funds into cash, stablecoins, and Chinese payment apps. These operations are carefully calibrated to manage the risk of funds being frozen, categorizing fraud proceeds by their associated risk levels.

Scam-Enabling Services and Products

Another troubling aspect of Huione Guarantee is its array of services and products designed to facilitate scams. The marketplace hosts merchants providing software and web development services for creating fraudulent cryptocurrency investment sites, popularly used in “pig butchering” scams. Additionally, they offer personal data, telecom equipment, and sophisticated “AI face-changing” software, enabling scammers to deceive and manipulate their victims further.

Darknet Marketplace Traits and Crypto Transactions

Huione Guarantee exhibits many characteristics traditionally associated with darknet marketplaces. Substantial amounts of cryptocurrency flow through the platform, underscoring its critical role in fueling cyber scams across the region. The research has pinpointed Huione International Payments, a subsidiary of Huione Pay, as a significant operator in the global laundering of scam proceeds. Consequently, Elliptic has flagged hundreds of cryptocurrency addresses linked to Huione companies using its tracking tools.

Implications and Future Actions

In light of these findings, it is imperative for crypto exchanges and related businesses to scrutinize their transactions for associations with Huione-related addresses to mitigate further laundering activities. Stablecoin operators are also encouraged to actively block the misuse of their platforms by these flagged accounts.

Conclusion

This investigation into Huione Guarantee underscores the critical need for vigilance and proactive measures within the cryptocurrency industry. By identifying and blocking channels used for illicit activities, stakeholders can not only protect themselves but also contribute to the broader effort of securing the digital financial ecosystem.

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Gideon Wolf
Gideon Wolfhttps://en.coinotag.com/
GideonWolff is a 27-year-old technical analyst and journalist with extensive experience in the cryptocurrency industry. With a focus on technical analysis and news reporting, GideonWolff provides valuable insights on market trends and potential opportunities for both investors and those interested in the world of cryptocurrency.
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