Crypto Updates

Authorities Took Down Crypto-Mixing Platform ChipMixer for Laundering $3B

crypto launder

Law enforcement agencies in the United States and Germany took down cryptocurrency-mixing service provider ChipMixer, which laundered more than $3 billion worth of digital currencies since 2017. Though the platform operated on the dark web, it also had a clearnet web front.

Announced on Wednesday, the US federal law enforcement seized two domains directed to the ChipMixer service and a GitHub account. The German authorities forfeited the four ChipMixer back-end servers and $46 million in cryptocurrency.

Further, the US prosecutors also charged the Vietnam-based Minh Quốc Nguyễn for operating ChipMixer. The 49-year-old man is facing charges of money laundering, operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and identity theft, which carries a maximum prison time of 40 years.

“We will not allow cybercriminals to hide behind keyboards nor evade the consequences of their illegal actions Countering cybercrime requires the ultimate level of collaboration between and among all law enforcement partners,” said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate.

Indeed, along with US and German law enforcement, the authorities in Belgium, Poland, and Switzerland, along with Europol, also supported the investigation.

The Dirty Business of Crypto Mixers

ChipMixer was one of the largest crypto-mixing services that facilitated criminals to launder their ill-gotten proceeds. It provided services to several US-based customers but was not registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and did not collect information on its customers. The platform offered complete anonymity to its customers.

According to the court documents, ChipMixer processed $17 million in Bitcoin connected to 37 ransomware strains; over $700 million in Bitcoin from wallets containing stolen funds, including from the Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge and Harmony’s Horizon Bridge attacks; more than $200 million in Bitcoin connected to darknet markets; and over $35 million in bitcoin directly or indirectly associated with fraud shops.

The crypto mixing service also processed Bitcoins used by the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate for purchasing infrastructure for the Drovorub malware.

“ChipMixer facilitated the laundering of…

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