- Bitrace investigation exposes the exploitation of vanity blockchain addresses and the risks of anonymous crypto transactions on Telegram.
- The study unveils “zero-transfer phishing” scams and the potential for business address contamination through Telegram bot currency exchanges.
- The company urges the use of verified identity systems for crypto transactions to prevent legal issues and ensure transactional security.
A recent investigation by Bitrace, a blockchain analytics firm, has unearthed a series of risks associated with the use of cryptocurrency in anonymous online marketplaces, particularly highlighting the dangers within Telegram’s coin exchange bots. The study highlighted how these platforms, often celebrated for their convenience and anonymity, can become conduits for illicit activities.
The research detailed how vanity blockchain addresses, created to flaunt uniqueness or brand identity, are being exploited in recent times. These addresses are generated through batch processing of random private keys, with some requiring significant computational power for higher character specificity. These addresses are frequently used by gambling platforms and are paid for in TRC20-USDT, a practice that risks contaminating the service provider’s business address with funds linked to illegal activities.
Bitrace also highlighted a sophisticated phishing scam known as “zero-transfer phishing,” where fraudsters send multiple small transactions to random addresses, thereby contaminating their transaction history. This is often coupled with the creation of tail number addresses that mimic the end digits of a target’s address, increasing the deception. The funds obtained through these scams, when used to pay for address customization services, can lead to the service provider’s address being associated with black and grey market funds.
The report discussed the risks inherent in purchasing Telegram bot services for currency exchange. These bots facilitate trx/usdt transactions and are either self-hosted or operated by agents without direct control over the funds. Regardless, the funds exchanged are linked to the bot service provider’s business address, and any risk associated with these funds can lead to contamination.
Additionally, the report showcased a specific instance involving a Tron address that has been in operation since September 25, 2023. Managed by an unidentified technical service team, this address is linked to the creation of custom Tron vanity addresses and the operation of Telegram bots. It has processed transactions amounting to 165 USDT, received from 93 different sources. Alarmingly, 87.88% of these funds have been flagged as high-risk, indicating potential ties to unlawful activities.
The report ended with a caution for those investing in cryptocurrencies through anonymous online platforms. It underscored the dangers of being linked to high-risk addresses, which could lead to legal troubles, frozen assets, and red flags from major exchanges. Bitrace recommended transactions in systems with verified identities to lessen these risks, stressing the importance of enhanced security and regulation in the crypto sector.