Crypto and Crime: Interesting Actors Get Blues and Twos on Their Systems

January 31, 2023

I read a widely available document which presents information once described to me as a “close hold.” The article is “Most Criminal Crypto currency Is Funneled Through Just 5 Exchanges.” Most of the write up is the sort of breathless “look what we know” information. The article which recycles information from Wired and from the specialized services firm Chainalysis does not mention the five outfits currently under investigation. The write up does not provide much help to a curious reader by omitting open source intelligence tools which can rank order exchanges by dollar volume. Why not learn about this listing by CoinMarketCap and include that information instead of recycling OPI (other people’s info)? Also, why not point to resources on one of the pages? I know. I know. That’s work that interferes with getting a Tall, Non-Fat Latte With Caramel Drizzle.

The key points for me is the inclusion of some companies/organizations allegedly engaged in some fascinating activities. (Fascinating for crime analysts and cyber fraud investigators. For the individuals involved with these firms, “fascinating” is not the word one might use to describe the information in the Ars Technica article.)

Here are the outfits mentioned in the article:

  • Bitcoin Fog – Offline
  • Bitzlato
  • Chatex
  • Garantex
  • Helix – Offline
  • Suex
  • Tornado Cash – Offline

Is there a common thread connecting these organizations? Who are the stakeholders? Who are the managers? Where are these outfits allegedly doing business?

Could it be Russia?

Stephen E Arnold, February 1, 2023


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