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U. S. DOJ and German Police Crackdown Cryptocurrency "Mixing" Service Provider ChipMixer

2023-03-17 Brokersview

On March 15, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had hit ChipMixer, a darknet cryptocurrency "mixing" service provider responsible for laundering more than $3 billion worth of cryptocurrency, between 2017 and the present, in furtherance of, among other activities, ransomware, darknet market, fraud, cryptocurrency heists and other hacking schemes.


The enforcement action was authorized by U.S. federal law enforcement authorities and uncovered two domains that directed users to the ChipMixer service and a Github account. The German Federal Criminal Police Office also seized ChipMixer's back-end servers and over $46 million worth of cryptocurrency.


While ChipMixer was being investigated, Minh Quốc Nguyễn, 49, of Hanoi, Vietnam, was charged this Wednesday in Philadelphia with money laundering, operating an unlicensed money transfer business and identity theft in connection with ChipMixer's operations.


According to court documents, ChipMixer was one of the money mixers widely used for money laundering, which would mix bitcoins deposited by different customers, making it difficult for regulators to track the flow of those currencies. It also provides customers with various features that allow criminals to better hide their identities. To evade tracking by law enforcement agencies, ChipMixer had a clearnet web domain but operated primarily as a Tor hidden service.


ChipMixer greatly provides convenience for illegal activities, and a large number of its customers are criminals who launder money with complete anonymity. Moreover, ChipMixer has many customers in the United States, yet the service provider is not registered with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and does not collect identifying information from its customers.