US Sanctions North Korean Crypto-Laundromat, Blames Bitcoin Mining CEO
Authorities have sanctioned a cryptocurrency "tumbler" used by North Korea to launder stolen digital currencies, the first such action against a virtual currency mixer.
Measures against blenders, declared Friday by the Treasury Department, require all US real estate and interests that have a place in the scenario to be on hold and accountable to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Virtual currency mixers or cryptocurrency "cups" are digital currency service providers that allow users to hide the otherwise transparent bitcoin payment path. To further protect customer safety, considering digital wallets are generally mysterious, virtual money shufflers pool exchanges from numerous sources and then aimlessly process schedules, making them harder to track.
The US Treasury Department said Blender was fined for handling more than $20.5 million in cryptocurrency stolen by Lazarus Group from online game Axie Infinity. largest virtual currency theft to date with a total value of approximately $620 million.
S. has warned that North Korea is increasingly turning to digitally-assisted illegal activities to raise funds for its globally denounced long-range missile and nuclear duplication programs. OFAC claims to have disclosed evidence that Blender operates tax evasion exercises for other malicious artists, including Russian-tuned ransomware groups Trickbot and Sodinokibi. Also on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted Luiz Capuci Jr., CEO of cryptocurrency firm Mining Capital Coin, for his alleged role in orchestrating a $62 million scam.Cryptocurrencies are typically based on networks of "miners," users who generate digital income by running the highly complex computational algorithms required to encrypt transactions on the blockchain, a type of "universal ledger" used by most platforms will.
Capuci Jr. allegedly tricked funders into pouring cash into its digital currency mining operations, only to have those assets diverted into heavily impacted wallets. The OFAC and Justice Department statements come amid growing pressure from the Biden organization on specialists to assess the dangerous development of digital currency markets and look for artists who are using these assets for illicit purposes.