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CFTC, DOJ Charge BitMEX Owners with Illegal Operations and Anti-Money Laundering Violations 

On October 1, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment of four BitMEX executives, charging the group with violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and conspiring to violate the BSA by “willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering (“AML”) program.” On the same day, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a civil enforcement action charging five entities…

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On Cryptocurrency Tracing Companies and Privacy on the Blockchain

I would like to address the issue of the privacy of cryptocurrency transactions, and the role of cryptocurrency tracing companies in helping the world of crypto become safer, more widespread, and more legitimate, while still preserving the privacy of individuals. There have been opinions expressed on Twitter and Reddit that cryptocurrency tracing companies are violating…

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Spotlight - Blockchain - Threat Intel - Banks - Financial Institutions

Fighting Human Trafficking by Following the Money

If you travel a lot – especially during January 2020, which was National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month – you likely saw ads exhorting you to look out for evidence of human trafficking and report what you see to the authorities. Ads like these are great for raising general awareness of the very real…

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Crypto Comes of Age: Cryptocurrency Travel Rule Compliance Conference and Hackathon Recap

Some in the cryptocurrency community were caught off guard when the global financial watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), recently endorsed much tougher guidelines for monitoring and transferring virtual assets. Its “Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs)” recommends a new set of rules that would require…

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SANCTIONS ALERT: Treasury Targets Chinese Drug Kingpins Fueling America’s Deadly Opioid Crisis

SANCTIONS UPDATE: On August 21, 2019, the following individuals and their associated digital currency addresses have been added to OFAC’s SDN List under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. YAN, Xiaobing (Chinese Traditional: 顏曉兵; Chinese Simplified: 颜晓兵) (a.k.a. “YAN, Steven”; a.k.a. “ZHOU, William”), Wuhan, Hubei, China (Chinese Simplified: 武汉市, 湖北省, China; Chinese Traditional: 武漢市, 湖北省, China); DOB…

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Crypto Matrix - AML - Q2 Report Summary

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Grappling with New FATF Rule Requiring Disclosure of Customer Information

Governments have a new “travel rule” coming your way, and it has nothing to do with what you can put in your carry-on. In guidance released on June 21, 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) updated its recommendation regarding the need to adequately mitigate the money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with virtual… Read more

Three Ways to Prevent Exchange Hacks

The recent hack of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, highlights the need for heightened security in the crypto space. In what Wired reported as “a ‘large-scale security breach,’ hackers stole not only 7,000 bitcoin—equivalent to over $40 million ($56 million at the time of this writing, just one week later)—but also some user two-factor…

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Response to FATF Regarding Regulation and Monitoring of Virtual Asset Service Providers

In October 2018, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) amended its Recommendation to clarify how the FATF standards apply to activities or operations involving virtual assets. Recently, FATF asked for consultation comments with regards to a draft “Interpretive Note to Recommendation 15.” Explaining the need for revision, the FATF said: “Recognising the need to adequately…

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CipherTrace Statement on Blockchain Analytics Privacy

In light of recent events regarding the acquisition of blockchain analytics company Neutrino, CipherTrace wants to make our position about privacy and confidentiality clear. CipherTrace has received numerous inquiries from the media and customers regarding our privacy policies. On February 19, Coinbase acquired a blockchain analytics company, Neutrino. Neutrino was founded by executives from the…

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CipherTrace Analysis of Paymon, Iran’s Sanction Evading Crypto-Rial

This analysis by CipherTrace looks at Iran’s proposed Crypto-Rial sovereign virtual currency. We conclude that such a currency and the regulations that Iran is proposing, will in fact, result in a flourishing cryptocurrency — i.e., one that benefits the regime through increased surveillance, taxation, access to global financial markets, and evasion of sanctions. The reasoning…

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