In June, the FBI warned the public of a LinkedIn scam where users were lured into making significant investments in fraudulent cryptocurrencies. After trust was established, victims were convinced to move investments to controlled sites before they had their accounts drained. This cyber scam was only notable for how stolen cash was subsequently used: purchasing sanctioned oil. Illegal cryptocurrency accounts received a record-breaking $14 billion in transactions in 2021. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology which makes these technologies possible means that every account can be monitored by everyone else, although individual actors remain private. Paradoxically, individuals are anonymous but collective illegal activity is discernable. Illicit crypto participation in energy markets is only increasing, and rogue states are moving into this void. Should they continue their activities, already volatile energy markets will be further undermined.
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