Alleged $366M Bitcoin mixer busted after analysis of 10 years of blockchain data
April 29, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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The operator of long-running crypto mixer, Bitcoin Fog, has been arrested after authorities were able to trace the alleged launderer’s crypto transactions from 2011.
U. S. authorities have arrested the alleged mastermind behind a multi-million darknet-based BTC mixing service, Bitcoin Fog, after analyzing 10 years of blockchain data.
However, the Internal Revenue Service is charging Russian-Swedish citizen, Roman Sterlingov, with laundering more than 1. 2 million Bitcoin worth $336 million while serving as the website’s administrator.
Sterlingov was arrested on April 27 in Los Angeles, with the IRS estimating he received commissions of between 2% and 2. 5% for mixing services at the time of each transaction — worth roughly $8 million then but exponentially more today.
Authorities estimate at least 23% of the Bitcoin that flowed through the mixing service was transferred to darknet-based narcotics marketplaces such as Silk Road.
Sterlingov’s arrest was the product of authorities fastidiously unpicking the web of BTC transactions associated with the mixer service dating back to 2011, using the Bitcoin blockchain to identify the site’s operator.
Sterlingov founded the website in late 2011 under a Japanese pseudonym meaning “Happy New Year, '' spruiking Bitcoin Fog as eliminating any chance of authorities “finding your payments and making it impossible to prove any connection between a deposit and a withdraw inside our service. "