Blockchain analyst ZachXBT recently brought to light a case of possible money laundering.
In this scenario, an entity, hitherto dormant for nearly a decade, orchestrated a substantial transfer of around 4,800 BTC, with an approximate valuation of $144 million, from the shadows of the long-gone Abraxas darknet market to a Bitcoin mixer.
Abraxas was an enigmatic online dark marketplace that existed in the shadows until its abrupt vanishing in November 2015.
Its sudden disappearance was widely regarded as an “exit scam,” a notorious manoeuvre wherein the platform’s founders vanish, absconding with users’ funds.
What has captured the attention of the crypto community is the recent resurgence of activity related to Abraxas.
The entity, dormant for almost a decade, opted to initiate a remarkable 4,800 BTC transfer, valued at a staggering $144 million, into a Bitcoin coin mixer.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this unfolding narrative is the identity of the entity responsible for the Abraxas fund transfer.
A Bitcoin mixer, as the name implies, serves as a tool to “mix” Bitcoin transactions by disassembling and redistributing coins across multiple wallets over a specific time frame.
The primary purpose of mixers is to obfuscate any attempts to trace these operations.
They prove especially valuable for users seeking to preserve a high degree of privacy when conducting transactions.
Mixers employ a diverse array of techniques to safeguard user anonymity, including P2P providers that facilitate the formation of groups in which users pool their resources without knowledge of the origin and destination of assets.
Such methods are often exploited by malicious actors to obscure the traceability of their illicit transactions, particularly in the context of money laundering https://www.coinlive.com/news-detail/183240.
The gravity of this issue is underscored by the United States (US) Treasury’s designation of coin mixers as a “top money laundering concern.”
A spokesperson noted:
“Today’s action underlines the Treasury’s commitment to combating the exploitation of mixed convertible virtual currency by a wide range of illicit actors, including state-affiliated cyber actors, cybercriminals and terrorist groups.”
Recently, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed a new set of regulations that would require financial institutions to monitor, document, and report transactions passing through crypto or “convertible virtual currency” (CVC) mixers, citing the USA Patriot Act.
This proposal underlines the continued use of crypto tumblers for illicit purposes such as money laundering.
“FinCEN assesses that transactions involving CVC mixing within or involving a jurisdiction outside the United States are of primary money laundering concern, and, having undertaken the necessary consultations, also finds that imposing additional recordkeeping and reporting requirements would assist in mitigating the risks posed by such transactions. Such reporting will assist law enforcement with identifying the perpetrators behind illicit transactions and preventing, investigating, and prosecuting illegal activity, as well as rendering such transactions – through increased transparency – less attractive and useful to illicit actors.”