Europol has placed the well-known Wasabi bitcoin wallet under observation.
This is what can be read in a special report drawn up by the European Union agency for judicial cooperation, known as Europol and intended for the police forces of EU countries.
In particular, this report states that the Europol Cybercrime Center (EC3) has noticed a growing number of investigations involving this wallet.
EC3 highlights that Wasabi is used to make bitcoin transactions anonymous by using CoinJoin, together with TOR, in order to escape laws such as AMLD5.
It even explicitly admits that people who manage to use this wallet correctly have a high probability of not being detected.
To “de-mix” transactions made with Wasabi, the user would have to make a mistake, but in the future, it may be possible to do so in other ways.
For example, the Dutch financial crime investigation agency, FIOD, has started a research that is proving to be promising in terms of mixing transactions with Wasabi.
The fact is that, according to Europol, the use of this wallet would be so popular that it attracted their interest.
Thus, it is no longer limited to a handful of nerds, as in the past, to the extent that according to data provided by Chainalysis, there would be more than 110,000 BTC, or more than 1 billion dollars, on Wasabi wallets around the world.
Moreover, in March there would have been a surge in its use, with almost 50 million dollars in BTC deposited on Wasabi wallets in three weeks.
The curious thing is that the EC3 itself states in this report that estimates suggest that bitcoin transactions related to the dark web would be only 1% of the total.
The CEO of zkSNACKs, the company behind the Wasabi wallet, Gergely Hajdu, commented:
“We have already known that we are providing outstanding security for our users, but their confirmation is certainly reassuring”.
Since all bitcoin on-chain transactions are public, the only way to protect privacy is for them to be anonymous.
However, there are several de-anonymization techniques, often linked to the fact that buying and selling on centralized exchanges is not anonymous at all.
Thanks to CoinJoin it is possible to mix together many transactions from many different users, which makes tracking, and thus de-anonymization, very difficult. Wasabi is definitely one of the most used wallets in the world for these purposes, so it is no coincidence that it ended up under the observation of public agencies monitoring the dark web.