Citibank, a major US-based bank, said in a recent report that the Metaverse is worth up to $ 13 trillion by 2030. However, this has the disadvantage that it also leads to a surge in the number of crimes.
Analyzing the Elliptic dataset also reveals that there is illegal activity related to the Metaverse-related assets MANA and SAND.
“Of this illegal activity, 99.5% is related to the theft of crypto assets, highlighting the most common criminal activity today, which reflects the widespread criminal activity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a whole. And social engineering, fake giveaways, and MetaMask browser wallet attacks can create a dangerous environment for buying, selling, and transferring NFTs, “Elliptic said in a report. The future of financial crime in Metaverse Report 2022..
The report also observes fraudulent Metaverse native asset-related activity related to fraud, phishing, and malware.
As of 2021, total sales of all crypto assets, including land in Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, Sandbox and Somnium Space, have exceeded $ 500 million and are expected to double in 2022.
The Elliptic Report predicts that the Metaverse will appear to be an increasingly attractive liquidity venue for criminals considering asset laundering.
However, money laundering is not limited to the Metaverse. Money laundering is one of the most prominent crimes in the crypto market, with a surge of nearly 30% between 2020 and 2021, according to the 2022 crypto crime report by Blockchain data company Chainalysis.
The report also includes a list of other crimes, including:
Metaverse Fake AirDrop: There are already examples of fake airdrops and giveaway scams on Metaverse-related assets. In March 2022, when the Yuga Labs team announced the launch of MetaRPG and its native crypto asset, ApeCoin (APE), many malicious people on social media platforms tricked users into clicking on malicious links. Or tried to send money for a fraudulent giveaway. They even managed to raise about $ 900,000.
Phishing link: There have been attempts to mislead Decentraland users into clicking on phishing links instead of official domains. The danger to this is that the majority of users connect via MetaMask, which improves the experience of persistent avatars, so using malicious links can allow malicious actors to steal funds through this connection. There is sex.
One of the promising steps Google has taken is to disable ads in Decentraland-based searches. However, other search engines may not do the same, and attackers may attempt to use fake ads on other platforms such as social media and other crypto / investment-based websites. ..
In response, the company behind Decentraland is working with many IP protection companies and has already suspended two websites, 24 domains, and five social media accounts.
Sex crimes: The report points out that there are many cases of legalized sexual activity within the Metaverse, and that sex-based businesses may have the opportunity to open within the Red Light District of the Metaverse, but how the space is. There are also concerns about the possibility of becoming a child sexual abuse material (CSAM), revenge pornography, sexual harassment, etc. Used for more ominous content.
In fact, in the Metaverse world, crimes related to child-related harassment have already been reported. For example, South Korea’s Gender Equality Family Department said in September 2021 that a 14-year-old girl was forced to undress Avatar in the Metaverse and she was told to have Avatar do sexual activity. ..
Method First To counter Finance crime of Metaverse
The report emphasized the importance of screening metaverse-related transactions and wallets for unauthorized connections to enable proper screening to protect against the risks of money laundering, dramatization and sanctions.
“This helps us identify direct or indirect exposures and enable us to take mitigation measures. These include conducting further investigations, blocking withdrawals, separating funds, or relevant authorities. Includes a warning to “, the report said.
It’s also important to ensure that you perform due diligence on your project and the team behind it before adding support for your Metaverse project and related assets.