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The supposed anonymity of crypto-asset accounts, such as bitcoin wallets, depends on two things: first, the creation of accounts attached to fictitious or false identification information and the fact that there are so many that trying to identify one being used for criminal purposes is like trying to decide which drop in the ocean should be looked at first.

Today, World Money Laundering Report, part of The Anti Money Laundering Network announces the GlobalKYC Suspicious Crypto Asset Register, a crowd-sourced method of identifying those accounts that may be used by criminals for reasons of extortion.

It's almost impossible to open a website or blog with even a peripheral interest in financial matters and not see a headline saying something like "The Death of Bitcoin." Total tosh. So are the click-bait headlines in the style of "is blockchain dead?"

This is why.

BIScom Subsection: 

The fraud is old hat. The bitcoin address is, presumably, valid and enforcement agencies may wish to track and attack it. And, of course, any financial institution which has records of it should identify it as a suspicious account.

1HQ7wGdA5G9qUtM8jyDt5obDv1x3vEvjCy

FCRO Subsection: 

We all get the scams telling us that a criminal has our data. Many of us get scams saying that the criminals have details of access to pornographic websites and, even, footage taken from cameras on our desktop or laptop machines. Usually, we are told that we are being blackmailed and ordered to pay a sum, via bitcoin, to a specified wallet, 1Lughwk11SAsz54wZJ3bpGbNqGfVanMWzk. This wallet should, obviously, be disabled with immediate effect.

CoNet Section: 

It takes something of a cheek to solicit investment in a fraudulent scheme and to publish a website with comments falsely attributed to the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore who also happens to be the country's deputy prime minister. But as MAS has warned, that's exactly what someone is doing...

BIScom Subsection: 

The Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) has seen a growing number of reports about extortion attempts received by both e-mail and postal mail which use specific information about the potential victim to add authenticity. While there are many variations in these extortion attempts, there is often something common to the approaches, IC3 says.

This morning, I received, in one of my corporate mailboxes, a spam which is disturbing on several levels, none of which are relevant to the core arguments in this piece so I've added the text in a footnote for readers' information.

What is relevant, and not disturbing, is that it demands payment to a specific bitcoin account.

This is it: 1JXuMq6sbL95XnrcDEsrZTCvvRjB52RCAD.

Governments and others are focussed on the person behind the account. There is another way, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill

BIScom Subsection: 

It is said that fraud is a cyclical business and that frauds come around every five to seven years. Today, it is common to see frauds coming round every few months. This one combines both with old-fashioned blackmail, internet abuse, insecurity through camera-equipped devices and crypto-currency all in one. Add in a (quite possibly fake) Russian connection and whoever crafted this had his finger on all kinds of buttons. DUE DILIGENCE INFORMATION: BTC account quoted - 16n8TKLoLKZiB2DCaWwpKFnWRPN7EW9EjT

The grand-daddy of the current crop of electronic currencies is, of course, Bitcoin. In recent months, its value has appreciated exponentially until it reached more than 5,000 dollars. But it's just the most famous so-called "cryptocurrency" and now the technology is "in the wild," anyone with the necessary, apparently not very advanced, IT skills can make one. China says "enough is enough" and is taking steps to more or less outlaw cryptocurrencies or, at least, to make their use difficult. China has explained its reasoning - and it makes a huge amount of sense. The questions are whether the horse has already bolted, can access to cryptocurrencies outside China be banned and just how much use is it really for money laundering, a main plank of the Chinese objection.

Digital Dollars, Virtual Payments, Real World Risk and Regulation.

The risks and regulation of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

 


 

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