Since cryptocurrency transactions are virtually anonymous, cybercriminals use them in dark markets for illicit trading. Through ransomware attacks like WannaCry, Petya, Locky, and Cerber, hackers receive a lot of money. Moreover, we learn about cryptocurrency trading hack every so often, wherein attackers steal thousands of dollars in Bitcoin. But how they cash out or convert stolen money into fiat currency?

An example of how much hackers are after cryptocurrencies is the recent news of “thefts of 2020”. Bitcoin is one of the massively valuable cryptocurrencies in which about half a billion dollars in total stolen.

After stealing thousands of cryptocurrencies from exchanges and ransomware targets, understandably, cybercriminals will not retain them in electronic form. The next move is to turn cryptocurrency into real-world currency. Several cryptocurrency platforms enable cybercriminals to cash out their bitcoin without being detected, i.e., anonymously.

According to Google researchers, many victims buy bitcoins through Craigslist and Localbitcoins. And since 2014, more than 95% of all bitcoin payments received from ransomware targets were cashed out through a Russian bitcoin exchange called BTC-E.

As per a report by Chainalysis, cybercriminals use progressively rigorous techniques to transform illicitly acquired cryptocurrency into real money. Criminal entities sent $2.8 billion in bitcoin via cryptocurrency exchanges in 2019. And attackers utlize platforms known as “over-the-counter brokers” to turn cryptocurrency into real money.