Operation Dark Gold – arrest of 35 darknet vendors using digital currencies for illegal drug trafficking and commerce

The US Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Secret Service, and the DEA  announced the arrest and pending prosecution of more than 35 darknet vendors across the country after a year-long investigation dubbed Operation Dark Gold. US federal law enforcement seized more than $20 million in Bitcoin and other digital currencies, 100 illegal [...]

The non-techie guide to the Blockchain, distributed ledger tech and Bitcoin

This guide to Bitcoin, Blockchain, distributed ledger tech, and digital currencies is taken from a collection of presentations, comments, speeches we’ve made at global conferences and articles written by us from 2012 to 2015. Bitcoin Consumer payments and ways of transferring value in Canada and globally have shifted over the last several decades from paper-based media, [...]

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 [...]

Foreign digital currency exchange fined $110M in US for anti-money laundering law failures

For the first time ever, the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FINCEN“), has asserted jurisdiction over a foreign digital currency exchange, BTC-E, for the purposes of fines, and assessed civil penalties for anti-money laundering law failures under the Bank Secrecy Act in the amount of $110,003,314. In July of this year, BTC-E and its founder, [...]

Biggest illegal darknet Bitcoin marketplace shut down; operated from Canada

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 darknet. AlphaBay was ten times larger than Silk Road, when it was taken down in 2013. AlphaBay was a Canadian darknet illegal drug marketplace with servers in Three [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

US-Canada drug enforcement plans to disrupt drug imports from British Columbia, scrutinize Bitcoin, MSBs and intercept more texts

US cross-border drug strategy to cover new ground in British Columbia Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime Let’s Talk Bitcoin has an interesting article here on the US drug initiative to reduce the cross-border drug trade between Canada and the US with a focus on targeting the use [...]

Thoughts on FinCEN Director’s speech on bank de-risking and the refusal of banking services to MSBs (and by implication, Bitcoin)

De-risking that results in unbankable businesses  By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime In a speech delivered to the anti-money laundering legal and law enforcement community, the Director of FinCEN, Jennifer Shasky Calvery, made some interesting and compelling comments that touch on the economic costs of anti-money laundering (“AML“) law, [...]

Canada implements world’s first national Bitcoin law

New Bitcoin Law By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime At the end of this week, the Parliament of Canada approved what is likely the world’s first national Bitcoin law, and certainly the world’s first treatment in law of Bitcoin under national anti-money laundering law. Late Thursday, Canada’s Governor [...]