Beyond Fentanyl: TRM Report Reveals Cryptocurrency’s Role in the International Drug Precursor Market

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Beyond Fentanyl: TRM Report Reveals Cryptocurrency’s Role in the International Drug Precursor Market

The US fentanyl epidemic is one node in a vast network encompassing most of the world’s trade in illicit synthetic drugs. Today, the factories producing most of the world’s fentanyl precursors also manufacture and sell the key ingredients for almost every other common synthetic drug sold in European and Asian markets—and a significant number of them are located in China.

Cryptocurrency use is becoming increasingly prevalent in this international precursor trade. In our latest report, we found that 97% of the over 120 Chinese precursor manufacturers studied offered payment in cryptocurrencies, and received over USD 26 million in cryptocurrency in 2023. Between 2022 and 2023, the amount of cryptocurrency deposited into wallets linked to Chinese precursor manufacturers increased by over 600%—and more than doubled in the first four months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

Beyond Fentanyl: Cryptocurrency’s role in the international synthetic drug precursor market” explores the inner workings of these Chinese precursor drug manufacturers—and specifically, how they use cryptocurrency in their operations. 

Download your copy to see all our findings, including:

  • The volume of cryptocurrency payments to Chinese precursor manufacturers by blockchain
  • On-chain links between precursor manufacturers and darknet markets (DNMs)
  • The breadth of illicit drugs advertised and produced by fentanyl precursor manufacturers
  • Top geographic markets targeted by advertisements from Chinese precursor manufacturers
  • And more

Read the full report here.

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