Crypto and the Opioid Crisis: What Blockchain Analysis Reveals About Global Fentanyl Sales

May 24, 2023

Despite the traceability of cryptocurrency, illicit actors involved in the sale of fentanyl and fentanyl precursor chemicals are often drawn to crypto due to its near-instant, cross-border, and pseudonymous features. These cases underline the role of cryptocurrency in trafficking both fentanyl and fentanyl precursor chemicals. Geographic estimation of cryptocurrency-related fentanyl precursor flowsThe cases described above are examples of crypto-based fentanyl transactions that span the globe. Chainalysis sought to analyze at scale crypto transactions associated with fentanyl precursor chemical sales specifically, and to examine whether they mirror the geographic patterns identified previously by the DEA. The screenshot below shows fentanyl precursor chemicals available on the website of one such shop whose address was surfaced by our comparative methodology.