US Treasury Sanctions First Crypto Mixer – Regulation Bitcoin News

Bitcoin.com

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued its first-ever sanctions on a crypto mixer. The mixing service was used by Lazarus Group to process illicit proceeds from the $620 million crypto heist of the online game Axie Infinity, said the Treasury Department.

Treasury Department Sanctions Crypto Mixer

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced Friday that it has sanctioned crypto mixer Blender.io (Blender). According to the OFAC, this mixing service is used by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) “to support its malicious cyber activities and money-laundering of stolen virtual currency.”

How To Get Free Crypto  

The announcement explains that on March 23, Lazarus Group, a DPRK state-sponsored cyber hacking group, carried out the largest cryptocurrency heist to date, worth almost $620 million, of a blockchain project linked to the online game Axie Infinity. The OFAC added:

Blender was used in processing over $20.5 million of the illicit proceeds.

The OFAC sanctioned the Lazarus Group on Sept. 13, 2019, and “identified it as an agency, instrumentality, or controlled entity of the government of the DPRK,” the announcement adds. The designation is based on the group’s “relationship to the U.S.- and UN-designated Reconnaissance General Bureau, the DPRK’s premiere intelligence organization.”

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson commented:

Today, for the first time ever, Treasury is sanctioning a virtual currency mixer.

The investigation by the OFAC also found that Blender facilitated money laundering for Russian-linked malign ransomware groups including Trickbot, Conti, Ryuk, Sodinokibi, and Gandcrab.

The U.S. Treasury Department clarified:

While most virtual currency activity is licit, it can be used for illicit activity, including sanctions evasion, through mixers, peer-to-peer exchangers, darknet markets, and exchanges.

“This includes the facilitation of heists, ransomware schemes, and other cybercrimes,” the Treasury noted.

The announcement details that as a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of Blender.io, in the U.S. or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to the OFAC. Moreover, any entities that are 50% owned or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked, and all transactions by U.S. persons or within the U.S. involving designated or blocked persons are prohibited.

Coinbase Banner  
Tags in this story

What do you think about the OFAC sanctioning the crypto mixer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Read disclaimer

Go to Source
Author: Kevin Helms


Recommended Crypto Services, Products and Strategies:

The first thing any crypto investor needs is is a reliable and secure Crypto Wallet.  Whether you’re looking for an online wallet, hardware wallet, desktop or mobile wallet, Crypto Renegade provides you with all the Best Crypto Wallets in each category.

Best Crypto Wallets Banner

When you’re ready to buy more crypto, or exchange your coins for others, Crypto Renegade’s list of the Best Crypto Exchanges has you covered.  The Crypto Exchanges recommended here offer everything from simplicity and convenience to advanced trading platforms and profit sharing. 

Best Crypto Exchanges Banner

If you want to learn more about the methods and tools that can be used to find Great Crypto Projects, then be sure to check out Crypto Renegade’s strategy for How To Find The Best Cryptocurrency.

Crypto Strategy Banner

For those people that don’t have any money to invest right now, or just want to understand the technology a bit more, you’ll definitely want to check out Crypto Renegade’s Free Crypto Strategy and start collecting Free Coins today!

Free Crypto Banner

What do you think about cryptocurrency? Do you have any questions about it? Be sure to leave a comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.