European law enforcement has seized BestMixer.io. It is a bitcoin mixing website that the officials doubt has served as one of the busiest cryptocurrencies laundering services in the world.
The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) have shut down BestMixer on Wednesday. This took place with help from Europol and investigative support from McAfee. It is believed that the site has helped in turning over almost 27,000 bitcoins which account for almost $200 million since the day it started operating.
The day it started in May 2018 it promised to shuffle bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and litecoins. Especially those that may have proof of their association in internet crime. The laundering of virtual currency has been in fashion ever since they started rising higher in terms of price and hence is an essential part of the cybercriminal ecosystem.
After hackers are done with their task they try to bring a diversion in the path that traces the system to them. Because this way they would be caught. Hackers usually obfuscate the money that has their trace on the blockchain which is the underlying technology of blockchain.
“A mixing service will cut up a sum of bitcoins into hundreds of smaller transactions and mixes different transactions from other sources for obfuscation and will pump out the input amount, minus a fee, to a certain output address,” explained McAfee’s John Fokker in a blog post on Wednesday.
“Mixing bitcoins that are obtained legally is not a crime but, other than the mathematical exercise, there is no real benefit to it. The legality changes when a mixing service advertises itself as a success method to avoid various anti-money laundering policies via anonymity.” He added.
This type of advertisement literally seems like the advertisement of illegal things and that is how BestMixer is seeing the success it seems. The site of BestMixer also holds a section which explains to the user visiter how financial services are bound to follow the Know Your Customer policies and anti-money laundering rules.
To this BestMixer responded saying, “[T]his requires clients to provide identification documents in order to use the services of these financial service companies. Even if you use cryptocurrency only for purchasing physical goods, you will still need to provide certain personal information like your delivery address, name, and contact information…Instead of pseudo-anonymity of blockchain network, BestMixer.io provides you with absolute anonymity and freedom.”