US continues its take down of Bitcoin entities with indictment of foreign Bitcoin exchange that “banked” many global cyberattackers and processed $9B in payments

The US continued its take down of Bitcoin companies this week with the unsealing of an indictment against BTC-e and Alex Vinnik, and his arrest in Greece. The Indictment against Vinnik and BTC-e was obtained in January 2017, and was sealed until now so that he could be located internationally and arrangements made to effect [...]

Biggest illegal online dark net Bitcoin marketplace shut down; run by a Canadian who committed suicide rather than face US justice

The US DoJ has taken down what it calls the world’s largest criminal marketplace on the Internet called AlphaBay yesterday, which operated for over two years on the dark net. AlphaBay was over ten times larger than Silk Road when Silk Road was taken down in 2013. Like Silk Road, AlphaBay was used for trading of [...]

Backpage.com CEO & shareholders criminally charged with money laundering

CEO & Shareholders Charged The Attorney General of California announced today that her office has filed new criminal charges against the CEO of Backpage.com and two of its controlling shareholders, charging them with 26 counts of money laundering and 13 counts of pimping children out for prostitution in connection with the website Backpage.com. According to [...]

Europol Report highlights increased global cybercriminality, threats with NFC and Blockchain payments

Europol released its 2016 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment Report on cybercrime today and the results are more disturbing than last years’ report. The Report can be accessed here. Generally, the Report findings were that the volume and scope of cybercrime has reached very high levels and now surpasses regular non-online crimes. The Report made [...]

Lead DEA & Secret Service Agents in Silk Road investigation arrested for stealing $1 million in Bitcoin

Two lead US government agents in Silk Road investigation arrested for allegedly stealing over $1 million of Bitcoin from Silk Road during the investigation Two former government agents involved in the Silk Road murder and extortion investigations in Baltimore, Carl Force and Shaun Bridges, were arrested and charged with corruption, money laundering, wire fraud and [...]

Two Bitcoin stories hit the news related to ISIS and terrorist financing allegations

Bitcoin hits the news related to ISIS There were two Bitcoin stories today in the US media with an ISIS connection, raising alarm bells regarding the potential use of digital currencies for terrorist financing. The first story was that a teenager in Virginia had been arrested by the FBI for allegedly facilitating a person to [...]

Europol says organized crime is quickly changing to virtual methods

In a report released yesterday on serious organized crime called “Exploring Tomorrow’s Organized Crime” (the “Report“), Europol found that organized crime is now becoming a virtual activity over the Internet and as a result, transnational criminal organizations (“TCO“) are migrating towards virtual payment methods to conduct commercial affairs, including digital payments. According to Europol, the [...]

Quebec moves to regulate digital currency businesses

Are Bitcoin Exchanges MSBs? The Québec Government’s Authorité des Marchés Financiers (the “AMF“) today issued a News Release announcing that businesses that operate digital currency ATMs and “platforms for trading virtual currencies” must be licensed by the AMF as money services businesses (“MSB“) pursuant to the provincial Money Services Business Act (the “Act“). It also issued a [...]

France calls for stronger counter-terrorist financing laws

Consensus on Supranational Risk Assessment  As part of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive approval process in the European Union (the “4th AMLD“), the Council of the European Union’s President yesterday issued declarations and proposals for the regulation of anonymous financial transactions that are transacted on new fintech products. The communication from the President included Declarations [...]