Dismantling the cryptocurrency mixer
The European Criminal Police Organization (Europol) announced on the 15th that authorities in Germany and the United States have dismantled the crypto asset (virtual currency) mixer “ChipMixer”.
Europol and Belgian, Polish and Swiss authorities cooperated in the investigation. ChipMixer has seized 1909.4 BTC (equivalent to 6.2 billion yen) of crypto assets (virtual currency) bitcoin (BTC), claiming that it was involved in money laundering.
What is a mixer
An entity that provides a service to hide the identity of an asset’s origin or holder by amalgamating multiple transaction data for that asset.
According to the announcement, ChipMixer was founded in 2017 and never had a business license. It is a mixer specialized in virtual currency, and the software installed was said to be unable to track assets. As such, it was used for crimes like illegal drug and arms trafficking, ransomware attacks, and card fraud.
Assets deposited in ChipMixer are converted into tokens called “chips” and then mixed together. By doing so, it is said that the source of the assets was unknown.
According to this investigation, 1909.4 BTC was seized, but it seems that there is a possibility that 152,000 BTC (equivalent to 490 billion yen) was traded as money laundering. A large portion of this bitcoin has been linked to dark web markets, ransomware attacks, illegal goods trading, cryptocurrency theft and child sexual exploitation, Europol explained.
“We are also investigating whether some of the cryptocurrencies stolen after a major cryptocurrency exchange went bankrupt in 2022 were laundered through ChipMixer,” the statement said, which is FTX. seems to refer to
Last year, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had launched an investigation into the illegally stolen assets from FTX. The US Department of Justice and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US) participated in the ChipMixer investigation. The announcement claims that “ChipMixer is one of the largest cryptocurrency mixers.”
connection: U.S. Department of Justice launches investigation into virtual currency illegally leaked from FTX = report
U.S. Department of Justice announcement
Regarding ChipMixer, the US Department of Justice also announced on the 15th. The US Department of Justice has also filed complaints against Vietnamese Minh Quốc Nguyễn for his involvement in running ChipMixer. He also explained that ChipMixer was specifically used to launder bitcoins.
The US Department of Justice also gave specific examples of money laundering handled by ChipMixer. This specific example “includes bitcoin stolen by North Korean criminals from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge and Harmony (ONE)’s Horizon Bridge,” it said.
connection: Virtual currency stolen from Axie Infinity’s “Ronin bridge”, equivalent to 4.3 billion yen will be recovered
connection: L1 chain Harmony announces hacking damage, illegal outflow of about 13.5 billion yen