, 2022-05-16 13:44:18,
A U.S. citizen who ran a service that advertised it could evade sanctions using Bitcoin has been identified and charged by authorities.
The person operated an online payments and remittance platform that used Bitcoin and was based in a country sanctioned by the United States. The citizen, who is unnamed at this point, even advertised their platform as a way to avoid sanctions, and sent $10 million worth of Bitcoin between the U.S. and the sanctioned country, according to an opinion written by a judge and published on Friday.
The opinion shows, once again, that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are highly traceable and authorities have become very good at tracking criminals using them. Combined with the fact that crypto exchanges have to maintain extensive user records because of Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, it’s relatively easy to find people who commit crimes such as stealing vast amounts of bitcoins and sending money to countries like North Korea or Iran. (The opinion does not disclose what country the suspect based their platform in.)
Judge Zia M. Faruqui used stern and unusual language and unexpected references to make his points, citing the movie Friday the 13th, HBO’s Silicon Valley, SNL sketches, and uses the very informal verb to “dox.”
“Virtual currency is traceable,” the judge wrote. “Yet like Jason Voorhees the myth of virtual currency’s anonymity refuses to die.”
“Issue One: virtual currency is untraceable? WRONG. See Saturday Night Live, The McLaughlin Group,” the judge wrote in his conclusion. “Issue Two: sanctions do not apply to virtual currency? WRONG. See Saturday Night Live, The McLaughlin Group Halloween Cold Open.”
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