Why US Intelligence Experts Have Been Monitoring Bitcoin

Why US Intelligence Experts Have Been Monitoring Bitcoin

admin Anonymity, Bitcoin Law, Bitcoin Regulations, Government, IRS, Privacy, Spying, Taxes, USA 0 Comments

Hundreds of U.S. experts within defense and intelligence agencies are seeking to understand how virtual currencies like Bitcoin could undermine the U.S.’s long-standing ability to disrupt the financial networks of its foes and even permanently upend parts of the global financial system, Newsweek confirmed in a report. Juan Zarate, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and also on the board of advisers for Coinbase, told the weekly news magazine that virtual currencies pose a challenge. It runs contrary to the fundamentals of transparency and accountability that have been built over the last three decades to tackle terrorism, human trafficking, money-laundering and many other types of criminal activity. Is FBI hacking Bitcoin users’ computers? This new information will inadvertently provide an answer to the suspicion held previously that some agencies of the U.S. government have made moves that suggest Bitcoin users are being targeted for unconfirmed reasons. There were reports that a revised Rule 41 would allow the FBI to use a single warrant to hack an indefinite number of computers anywhere in the world. The rule, which will offer authorities an expansion of power over taxable pools of hidden assets such as cryptocurrencies, has been a …

So, You Want to Use a Blockchain for That?

admin Bitcoin Law, Bitcoin Lifestyle, Bitcoin News, Blockchain, BlockChain Technology Opinions, Crypto News, Peer-to-Peer, Smart Contracts 0 Comments

Antony Lewis is a bitcoin and blockchain consultant and blogger, who previously served as the director of business development at bitcoin exchange itBit.  In this article, Lewis attempts to break down some of the more misunderstood questions circulating among institutions seeking to adapt distributed blockchain tech for alternative uses. There are good reasons and bad reasons to use blockchains. In conversations with people considering blockchain use cases, I have noticed common confusions arising from certain words. At issue, is that they were initially used in a narrow context (usually to describe bitcoin’s blockchain), and are now being interpreted more generically for other blockchains, in cases where they may no longer apply. In this post, I hope to untangle some of these common misconceptions. Theme: Blockchains are secure Writing data Bitcoin has specific security features for writing data due to the burden of proof-of-work consensus. That is, in order to add blocks of transactions to the blockchain, you have to validate all the transactions within the block (easy) and then perform repeated calculations (called hashing) to find a magic number that makes your block valid and acceptable to the other participants according to the rules of the network (easy, but computationally expensive, therefore …

SABR.io Identifies Illegal Activity on Blockchains, Willing to Work With Law Enforcement

admin Bitcoin Law, Bitcoin Mixers and Anonymizing Services, BlockChain Technology Opinions, Cyber Crime & Cyber Terrorism 0 Comments

Blockchain analytical tools and services are both a blessing and a curse, according to Bitcoin industry experts. The Bitcoin community is divided into two camps: those who embrace the transparent aspect of the blockchain and financial transactions, and those who want to use anonymizing services to cover their tracks. Unmasking Bitcoin transactions could throw a monkey wrench into the plans of that second category of users, and Sabr.io aims to do exactly that.   SABR.io – Identifying and Locating Criminal Activity The business model associated with the Sabr.io service is noble and honorable, as the company wants to eliminate any criminal activity associated with virtual currencies. Achieving that goal will not be easy, yet Sabr.io is confident in their ability to monitor multiple blockchains and detect any discrepancies or strange behavior. But that is not all, as SABR will also integrate data from public and proprietary sources. All of this is made possible thanks to the company’s unique and strategic partnerships in the digital currency world, which provide SABR with information that would otherwise be inaccessible. Collaboration with law enforcement to track down illicit Bitcoin users will be a major step forward towards legitimizing digital currency. Gathering all of this …

New York Bitcoin Scene Divided As BitLicense Deadline Looms

admin Bitcoin 2.0, Bitcoin Law, Bitcoin News, Bitcoin Politics, Bitcoin Regulations 0 Comments

Bitcoin businesses wanting to continue serving New York residents have approximately 24 hours left to file their BitLicense application. The deadline, set for 8th August, marks the end of a45-day grace period following the publication of the BitLicense in the New York State register. Formulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), the long-awaited regulatory framework has proved divisive among companies in the space. The question on many people’s lips is: who’s staying and who’s going? With the deadline looming, CoinDesk has spoken to various industry players to find out just how the BitLicense will impact the bitcoin ecosystem. ‘A necessary evil’ New Yorker Jesse Chenard, ‎CEO at bitcoin exchange MonetaGo – which recently launched in 40 countries – confirmed his company submitted its 500-page-long BitLicense application earlier this week.  The lengthy application process – it took MonetaGo’s legal team 30 days to prepare the submission – Chenard said, would constitute a barrier to some startups in the space. Applying for a BitLicense incurs a $5,000 non-refundable fee and companies may also face additional application charges set by the NYDFS. Applicants are also expected to submit a detailed background history of company employees, their financial and legal histories and outline their plans for operating their digital …

HOMELAND SECURITY USING TREZOR HARDWARE BITCOIN WALLETS?

admin Bitcoin Law, Bitcoin News, Bitcoin Politics, Wallets 0 Comments

According to a recent account by a member of the BitcoinTalk community, it appears that certain members of the Federal government have a much deeper understanding of Bitcoin than previously thought. The poster says that during a raid, the government knew to seize unused Trezor wallets and transfer seized bitcoins to their own bitcoin wallets. Hardware wallets, when used correctly, are a highly recommended way to store bitcoins. Understanding how to keep bitcoins secure is a fundamental problem that any new user will face. To quote the poster directly: When “homeland security” raided our house they took several Trezors still in the original packages that I had planned to give away for Christmas presents. […] BTW: Homeland Security was storing all the seized Bitcoins on a Trezor that they either purchased or seized from someone else! The knowledge does beg the question as to whether the Trezor wallets were acquired in a raid or if they were chosen instead of Ledger wallets. That is, if a government official had decided on the brand of hardware wallet the agency would use. There are many strategies to keeping bitcoins safe, and using hardware wallets for long-term storage has time and again been …

COIN.MX BITCOIN EXCHANGE OPERATORS ARRESTED

admin Bitcoin Law, Bitcoin News, Bitcoin Regulations, Cyber Crime & Cyber Terrorism, Ransomware, ScamCoins / Fraudsters, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 0 Comments

Two Florida men are facing some serious felony charges that intersect both Bitcoin and the money transfer business. According to federal authorities, Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev never bothered to get a Money Services Business license for Coin.mx, a Bitcoin exchange. The FBI’s statement on the matter calls Coin.mx / Collectables Club a “phony front business” and mentions that the men also utilized a federal credit union that they bought solely for the purpose of washing dirty money. In doing so, they knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity. MURGIO and his co-conspirators have also knowingly exchanged cash for Bitcoins for victims of “ransomware” attacks, that is, cyberattacks in which criminals (here, distributors of the ransomware known as “Cryptowall”) electronically block access to a victim’s computer system until a sum of “ransom” money, typically in Bitcoins, is paid to them. In doing so, MURGIO, and his co-conspirators knowingly enabled the criminals responsible for those attacks to receive the proceeds of their crimes, yet, in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws, MURGIO never filed any suspicious activity reports regarding any of the transactions. It goes on to allege that they willfully hid their …