The concept of a Bitcoin mixer has always been somewhat controversial. The recent statements by the US DOJ will only thicken the plot in this particular regard.
A few years ago, the Bitcoin mixer landscape was very competitive.
Using a Bitcoin Mixer is a Crime in the US
Most of those services have not either shut down or simply disappeared.
Helix was one of the more commonly used mixing services at that time.
For the Department of Justice, a Bitcoin mixer is a money transmitting and laundering business model.
The main objective of this service is to let customers remove the “taint” from their Bitcoin balances.
In doing so, users will obtain a certain degree of privacy, as Bitcoin lacks those traits by default.
However, there is usually a hefty fee to be paid for this type of service rendered.
As such. it is not hard to see where the claim of a money transmitting business comes from.
That being said, claiming that a Bitcoin mixer is automatically a money laundering scheme seems to be a bridge too far.
Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski is genuinely convinced that is the only purpose of this type of service.
In fact, he claims how users seeking privacy are automatically engaging in criminal activities.