Cryptocurrency exchanges and other service providers play a major role of importance. Not only are they the gateways to this industry, but they can be powerful allies for law enforcement agencies around the globe. Binance, the world’s largest crypto trading platform, has recently aided UK authorities to identify and arrest a Bulgarian criminal.
A Bulgarian Phisher
The cryptocurrency industry has attracted plenty of criminals over the past few years. Most of these individuals see Bitcoin and select altcoins as viable tools to launder money. Thankfully, it seems exchanges and other service providers are putting a lot of effort into apprehending these criminals. This can be done by either freezing suspicious transactions or actively collaborating with law enforcement agencies.
In the case of Binance, the company recently aided UK authorities in apprehending a Bulgarian criminal This individual is suspected of dealing with phishing scripts which targeted customers of dozens of services. It is unclear if this pertains to cryptocurrency services, albeit that is not necessarily all that important either. With the help of this exchange, the UK Metropolitan Service apprehended the suspect earlier this month.
Building a Strong Case
When it comes to convicting criminals of any kind, there needs to be ample evidence prior to building a case. As far as this unidentified Bulgarian suspect is concerned, Binance played a crucial role in supporting the necessary information. Eventually, the criminal pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud and will face a nine-year jail sentence for his involvement in phishing and fraudulent activities. It appears he sold the obtained information from his phishing sites over the darknet in exchange for Bitcoin.
It is expected that over half a million victims suffered from these phishing scripts. The total amount of money stolen or obtained illegally by these scams sits at roughly $45m, which makes it one of the larger operations to be uncovered in the past year or so. Although Binance never explained how they collaborated exactly, it seems the Bulgarian culprit used their service in one way or another. Reporting any suspicious activity occurring through the platform is one of the many requirements exchanges such as Binance have to comply with every single day.
Bitcoin Isn’t for Criminals
All of this further confirms criminals should move away from cryptocurrencies altogether. Even though Bitcoin might seem anonymous to them, it is one of the most transparent digital assets on the market today. Combined with the blockchain analysis firms and exchanges monitoring all suspicious activity, it is evident that such transactions will be discovered eventually. There is no point in even exploring this option, as one will be caught eventually.
That being said, it seems unlikely cryptocurrencies will lose their “appeal” anytime soon. It is still the easiest way to move money to anyone in the world at a low cost and without any delays. Compared to traditional solutions, cryptocurrencies are the most suitable option in this regard. Now that Bitcoin mixers are being shut down one by one, however, it becomes a lot more difficult to mask the origins of one’s funds. That is a good thing, as Bitcoin was never meant to be private or anonymous.