• Elliptic has reported that the infamous coin mixing service Blender has rebranded as „Sinbad“.
• Elliptic notes that Sinbad is being used by North Korean-sponsored crypto hackers, the Lazarus Group.
• Since October 2022, Sinbad has been used to launder close to $100 million in Bitcoin.
Infamous Coin Mixer Rebrands as Sinbad
Elliptic has reported that coin mixing service Blender, which had stopped operating in April 2022 after being sanctioned, has likely rebranded and relaunched as „Sinbad“. According to Elliptic, Sinbad shares the same technology as the sanctioned Blender.
Lazarus Group Uses Sinbad for Money Laundering
Elliptic notes that the Lazarus Group began using the new coin-mixing platform shortly after Blender was shut down. The hackers used Sinbad „to launder the proceeds of Lazarus hacks.“ Elliptic notes that some of the funds from the $540 million stolen from Ronin Bridge in March 2022 and $100 million from Horizon exploit in June 2022 have been funneled through Sinbad.
Coin Mixers Used for Money Laundering
Coin mixers are platforms that obfuscate the source and destination of transactions, allowing people to anonymously send and receive cryptocurrencies. This has made them particularly useful for criminals looking to launder funds. Despite their increasing use in money laundering and receiving stolen goods online, coin mixers can also be used by law-abiding citizens who simply want more privacy when conducting cryptocurrency transactions.
Sanctioned Platform Reopens with New Name
Blender was sanctioned by OFAC (the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control) in August 2022. Since then, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic indicates wallets tied to a suspected Blender operator have sent nearly $22 million worth of crypto through Sinbad’s mixer codes and guarantee letters with a maximum seven-day transaction delay period since its launch last October – totaling close to $100 million laundered through this platform so far.
While it remains unclear why exactly Blender chose a new name for its services, it appears this cryptocurrency platform is still operating under its new moniker – albeit with a much darker reputation than before due to its association with North Korean hackers and money laundering activities on an international scale