The new year seems set to start tumultuous for Chainalysis. In addition to the trial for Roman Sterlingov set to begin on February 12th, which questions the reliability of Chainalysis Reactor in a multi-million dollar money laundering allegation, Chainalysis is now getting sued by the crypto project YieldNodes.
In their 2023 Crypto Crime Report, Chainalysis alleged that YieldNodes, a Hong Kong based project which rents out computing power to participate in a masternode pool, is a scam. In their crypto scam activity summarized graph, Chainalysis depicted YieldNodes as the second largest crypto scam in revenue of 2022 with a total of $341.6M. Notably, Chainalysis’ graph fails to have caught FTX, one of the largest crypto scams to date having misappropriated $8 Billion of customer funds.
“They never tried to contact us before publishing their report, and when we tried to contact them to discuss their report, all they did was direct us to their sales representatives and try to sell us licenses for their software,” writes YieldNodes in their newsletter.
Chainalysis’ categorization had devastating consequences for YieldNodes’ business, as participants were blocked from depositing and withdrawing profits from exchanges. Reputational damage continued to ensue as Chainalysis’ claim spread across media, leading to the removal of YieldNodes products from trading platforms.
In a short statement, YieldNodes told me they had only found out about Chainalysis’ categorization after receiving transaction errors from participants. YieldNodes now accuses Chainalysis of putting “marketing ahead of reliability”, citing the admitted lack of scientific evidence for their flagship product, referring to the absence of false positive rates, false negative rates, and margin of error rates.
In July, YieldNodes encouraged projects to join a possible class action lawsuit against Chainalysis, citing the company’s size and the associated costs with challenging Chainalysis’ claims in court. Chainalysis, founded in 2014, is a blockchain surveillance firm offering its products to exchanges, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, including ICE, IRS, FBI, SEC and DEA. Chainalysis has received over $3.3 Million from InQTel, the non-profit venture capital arm of the CIA, since 2020.