Dutch Anti-fraud Agency and Europol Shut Down Cryptocurrency Mixing Platform Bestmixer.io
Dutch anti-fraud agency and Luxembourg authorities, working together with Europol, have reportedly shut down cryptocurrency tumbler Bestmixer.io
According to Europol, the site was among the largest in the world, blamed for some of the largest crypto laundering efforts carried out on tumbler platforms.
Cryptocurrency tumblers, which are also called cryptocurrency mixing services, refer to anonymity tools that purport to convert transactions carried out in n on-private coins into private ones.
Tumbler services achieve this through the practice of mixing of crypto money from different transactions. The aim is to make it difficult for anyone to track the funds’ to its original source.
The Europol report notes that anti-fraud agency- the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD)- seized the tumbler’s six servers.
Bestmixer.io reportedly had a turnover of roughly $200 million in the one year it operated, having been launched in May 2018. The service had such an extensive reach that it ranked among the top three and was used to mix all the major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
The FIOD initiated its probe into the platform’s activities in June 2018, enlisting the support of Europol as well as Luxembourg.
It discovered that most of the coins that go through Bestmixer.io were proceeds of crime and the site provided an easy channel for extensive money laundering among other nefarious schemes.
Europol says that shutting down Bestmixer is the first time a legal enforcement action has been taken against a cryptocurrency tumbler anywhere.
At the moment, opening the Bestmixer website leads you to a FIOD notice telling visitors- that the service is no longer available. It then cautions: “you are not anonymous.”
FIOD notice on the Bestmixer website
According to Europol, the Dutch anti-fraud agency said it had gathered enough data from the site for a year, collecting a trove of information on transaction details.
FIOD also collected data related to bitcoin addresses, chat messages, and IP-addresses among other key pieces of information.
The report notes that Dutch authorities are set to analyze the information before sharing the findings with other countries.
Despite the closure of Bestmixer.io, several other cryptocurrency mixers are still accessible online. Among those found online are BitMix.Biz, ChipMixer, and BitBlender.
Europol also recently collaborated with German police on an operation that saw authorities seize crypto worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. This came after the law enforcers seized several servers from a dark web marketplace.
Authorities also arrested three suspects in connection with the dark web marketplace dubbed Wall Street Market.
Police in Finland also recently shut down the Valhalla marketplace, a darknet site said to have been used to promote money laundering.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.