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Articles by Anthonia Isichei

Poloniex Hacker Transfers Over $3.3 Million Worth of ETH to Sanctioned Tornado Cash

May 7, 2024

The hacker behind the attack on cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex in November 2023 recently transferred over 1,100 Ether (ETH) to sanctioned crypto mixer Tornado Cash.
The hacker sent the Ether in batches while still holding over $180 million worth of assets across different blockchains.
Poloniex Hacker Launders 1,120 ETH
According to data from Arkham Intelligence, the Poloniex hacker transferred 100 ETH in 11 batches to Tornado Cash, brining to the total to 1,100 ETH (worth around $3.37 million), and another two more of 10 ETH (valued at approximately $61,400) on May 7, all within four hours.
Apart from Ether, the Poloniex hacker previously transferred 501.62 BTC worth around $32 million on April 30 to an unknown Bitcoin address (bc1qt…xfekh).
The hacker’s portfolio

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Venezuela to Accelerate Crypto Usage in Response to Reimposed US Oil Sanctions: Report

April 23, 2024

Venezuela’s state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA is reportedly planning to speed up its use of crypto, particularly USDT, the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, to circumvent US sanctions.
The Venezuelan oil company gradually started integrating USDT for oil sales in 2023, and reportedly has a new policy in place mandating new customers to have a digital wallet holding cryptocurrency.
Venezuela Turning to USDT for Oil Exports
According to Reuters, PDVSA’s intention to accelerate USDT usage for crude and fuel exports comes after the United States refused to renew a general license that temporarily lifted sanctions in Venezuela’s oil and gas sector, with the report citing people familiar with the matter.
The general license was issued in October following a

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Sam Altman’s Worldcoin to Launch L2 Blockchain Prioritizing Human Transactions

April 18, 2024

Worldcoin, the project co-founded by Open AI CEO Sam Altman, which uses iris-scanning technology to verify a user’s “humanness,” is planning to launch an Ethereum layer-2 blockchain prioritizing verified humans over bots.
Worldcoin currently has more than 10 million users, with 50% of them having verified their human identities using the project’s Orb.
An Anti-Bot Blockchain Network
In a blog announcement on April 17, Worldcoin introduced its new human-centered blockchain called World Chain, which will be built on Optimism’s Superchain.
Worldcoin is the largest protocol on Optimism, an Ethereum Layer-2 scaling solution, accounting for 44% of user transactions on the network, and sometimes over 80% during peak periods.
According to the announcement, the continuous growth of

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Bloomberg Analyst Issues a Warning for the Upcoming Hong Kong Bitcoin, Ethereum ETFs

April 16, 2024

Hong Kong regulators recently approved spot Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded fund applications, but Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas predicts that the local ETF market may not perform as well as the US due to the current lack of big players and the possibility of high fees.
According to Balchunas, the Hong Kong Bitcoin and Ether ETF market may generate $500 million in inflows, which is small compared to the over $15 billion from BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF product alone in the United States.
Hong Kong Spot BTC ETF Smaller than the US
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on April 15 granted in-principle approval for spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF products from China Asset Management, Harvest Global Investments, and Bosera Asset Management in

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Google Sues 2 Individuals for Alleged Crypto Investment Fraud Using its Play Store

April 7, 2024

American tech giant Google recently filed a lawsuit against two developers for uploading almost 90 fraudulent crypto investment applications on its online store, Google Play, which they used to defraud unsuspecting victims.
Despite the company’s previous attempts to take down fraudulent apps from its Play Store, the alleged scammers found a way to upload more of such bogus apps, with Google stating that their fraud scheme affected around 100,000 users.
Victims Promised ‘Illusory’ Gains From Crypto Investment
Google, in its complaint filed in the Southern District of New York, claimed that Yunfeng Sun and Hongnam Cheung, both Chinese online app developers, employed three primary methods to deceive investors into downloading their fake apps from Google Play.
The defendants

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Munchables Hacker Returns Stolen Crypto Funds Worth Over $62 Million

March 27, 2024

The Munchables hacker, who recently exploited a weakness in the protocol and drained more than $62 million worth of Ether (ETH), has returned the keys holding the stolen funds.
According to blockchain sleuth ZachXBT, the hacker allegedly worked as a developer on Munchables and has possible ties to North Korea.
Munchables Loses Over $62 Million in ETH
Munchables, a Web3 gaming protocol on the Blast network, suffered an exploit on Tuesday, March 26, which led to the loss of over $62 million. The team behind the project revealed in an X post that the platform was compromised while they were making efforts to track the hacker’s movement and halt transactions.
In response to Munchables’ post, ZachXBT showed that the explorer’s address held about 17,415 ETH (worth $62.25 million

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FTX Gets Two Dozen Buyers to Sell Majority of its Stake in Anthropic for $884 Million

March 26, 2024

FTX is looking to sell a majority of its shares in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic to over 20 buyers, including an Abu Dhabi investment company and Jane Street Global.
The sale could provide ample funds for the bankrupt crypto exchange to repay creditors affected by FTX’s collapse.
FTX to Sell Over 29 Million Shares from its Anthropic Stake
According to court documents on March 22, FTX would sell approximately 29.5 million shares in Anthropic to a total of 24 purchasers for $884,109,327.
Topping the list of buyers is ATIC Third Investment Company LLC, which would purchase 16,664,167 shares for nearly $500 million. ATIC is a wholly-owned firm of the government-owned Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala.
Jane Street Global, a global quantitative trading

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Binance Founder CZ to Launch Non-Profit Education Project Amid Legal Woes

March 19, 2024

Following his departure from the crypto exchange Binance last November, the company’s founder and former CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as “CZ,” is looking to establish a non-revenue, free education project.
The new venture targets underprivileged kids who have no access to education in developing countries.
A Free, Online Education Platform for Children
In an X post on March 19, Zhao said that the new project, called Giggle Academy, is “gamified” and “adaptive” and will offer free basic education content from grades one to 12. However, the project does not come with a crypto token.

My next project. @GiggleAcademy (No logo yet)
Free basic (grade 1-12 ish) education, for all.No revenue.Gamified.Adaptive.
Read the Concept Paper at
We are HIRING.

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Bitcoin Fog Operator Declared Guilty of Money Laundering, Faces Up to 50 Years in Prison

March 17, 2024

Following his arrest nearly three years ago, a Jury in a US federal district court found Roman Sterlingov, operator of the crypto mixer Bitcoin Fog, guilty of a four-count charge regarding money laundering.
The founder of Bitcoin Fog faces up to a maximum of 50 years in prison for all his charges.
Sterlingov Convicted
According to a press release on March 12, the jury declared Roman Sterlingov guilty of money laundering conspiracy and sting money laundering. The 35-year-old Russian-Swedish Bitcoin Fog founder was also found guilty of operating an unlicensed money-transmitting venture and violations of the D.C. Money Transmitters Act.
While Sterlingov’s sentencing has been scheduled for July 15, 2024, the first two charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years

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Do Kwon’s Extradition to the US Revoked Following Appeal

March 5, 2024

Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon may not be leaving for the United States any time soon after the Appellate Court of Montenegro overturned a previous decision by a lower court to extradite the former crypto exec to the US.
Do Kwon is facing fraud and other criminal charges in the United States following Terra’s collapse that caused investors billions of dollars in losses, while prosecutors in his native country, South Korea, are also seeking his extradition.
On March 5, 2024, the Appellate Court revoked the decision of the Podgorica High Court to extradite Kwon to the United States following an appeal by his lawyers.
According to a statement, the court of appeal cited criminal procedural violations as the reason for its decision.

“Deciding on the appeal of the

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Gemini Settles With New York DFS, Commits to Return $1.1 Billion to Earn Customers

February 29, 2024

Crypto exchange Gemini has agreed to return a minimum of $1.1 billion to customers of its defunct Gemini Earn Program as part of its settlement deal with New York regulators.
Gemini, led by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, is also facing legal issues from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the New York Attorney General’s office.
Gemini’s Settlement With the NYDFS
In a press release on Feb. 28, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced its settlement with Gemini, which included the repayment of at least $1.1 billion to Earn users, a $40 million contribution to Genesis Global Capital’s bankruptcy proceedings, and a fine of $37 million to the agency.
Gemini launched the Earn program in 2021, with Genesis, an arm of Digital Currency Group

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Kraken Moves to Dismiss SEC’s Lawsuit

February 23, 2024

Major cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), arguing that the Commission was overstepping the boundaries of its regulatory authority.
The SEC sued Kraken in November 2023, alleging that the crypto exchange co-mingled customer funds and listed assets deemed as securities on its platform.
Kraken Fights Back
Kraken filed a motion on Feb. 22, 2024, in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California, to dismiss the SEC’s complaint against it.
According to the filing, Kraken noted that the SEC’s intent to sue it came one day after the firm’s congressional testimony in May 2023, where it criticized the agency for its “regulation-by-enforcement approach.”
During the testimony, the firm said

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Montenegro Court Approves Do Kwon’s Extradition to the United States: Report

February 21, 2024

Nearly a year after his arrest in Montenegro, Terraform Labs co-founder and former CEO Do Kwon is reportedly set to be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges.
Both the United States and South Korea previously submitted extradition requests to Montenegro officials.
According to local news outlet Pobjeda, on Feb. 21, the Podgorica High Court in Montenegro decided that Do Kwon would be extradited to the United States, thereby ruling out an extradition request from South Korea.
The latest development comes after Kwon’s legal team recently won an appeal to overturn the decision of the High Court to favor the extradition requests from the United States and South Korea.
Following his arrest by Montenegro authorities in March 2023 while attempting to flee to

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Binance Is Not Responsible for the Steep Decline of the Nigerian Naira, Company Fights Back

February 21, 2024

In a recent press release addressing its Nigerian customers, major crypto exchange Binance distanced itself from the rumored currency speculation that is putting downward pressure on the already weak naira.
The development comes amid reports of the cryptocurrency exchange earlier placing a cap on USDT sales on its peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace.
Binance Reportedly Under Scrutiny in Nigeria
Binance traders in Nigeria on Tuesday, Feb. 20, complained that they were unable to buy or sell USDT on the crypto exchange platform, with reports stating that the firm placed a cap of 1802 NGN to $1 for traders who wanted to sell their USDT.
The price limit caused traders to seek other platforms that were selling above the quoted price on Binance.
The exchange’s restrictions were

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3AC’s Investment in Worldcoin Seems to Pay Off for Creditors

February 20, 2024

An early investment in Worldcoin by the defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, otherwise known as 3AC, may prove profitable for creditors as the former’s token WLD recently reached a new all-time high (ATH), soaring nearly 200% in the last seven days.
3AC’s crypto portfolio currently holds 75 million WLD coins, making the company one of the largest investors in it.
Worldcoin Investment Appreciates Following WLD Price Surge
Three Arrows Capital was among the investors who participated in a funding round in 2021 by Tools For Humanity, the developer behind the iris-scanning project Worldcoin, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
The funding round raised $25 million at a valuation of $1 billion at the time. Other participants included former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried,

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Bitcoiner Nayib Bukele Re-Elected as El Salvador’s President

February 5, 2024

Results released so far show that El Salvador’s incumbent President Nayib Bukele marked a landslide victory, indicating that he could be re-elected for a second term.
Bukele’s administration cracked down on gang violence in El Salvador and made history with the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country.
Another Five Years for President Nayib Bukele
In an X post, Bukele declared himself the winner of the Presidential election, which was held on Feb. 4, 2024. According to the post, Bukele’s political party, Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas), won with over 85% of the votes “and a minimum of 58 of 60 deputies in the Assembly.”

De acuerdo a nuestros números, hemos ganado la elección presidencial con más del 85% de los votos y un mínimo de 58 de 60 diputados de la Asamblea.

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US DOJ Indicts Three Individuals Involved in $1.89 Billion Crypto Fraud Scheme

January 30, 2024

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has brought charges against three people for defrauding investors of nearly $2 billion.
According to the DOJ, the individuals promoted a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment program that promised investors high returns.
A $1.89 Billion Crypto Scam
In a press release on Jan. 29, 2024, the DOJ said that Sam Lee, an Australian living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and American citizens Rodney Burton and Brenda Chunga, perpetrated the $1.89 billion crypto fraud with an investment scheme called HyperFund.
While Lee is said to be the co-founder of HyperFund, Burton and Chunga were promoters of the project, which also had other names such as HyperCapital, HyperNation, HyperVerse, and HyperTech.
Between June 2020 and November 2022, Lee and

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Estonian Crypto Fraud Suspects to be Extradited to the US After Previous Court Annulment

January 27, 2024

Following a previous denial by an Estonian circuit court, the local government has, once again, approved the extradition of two of its citizens suspected of cryptocurrency fraud to the United States.
The suspects are accused of running a fake crypto service that defrauded unsuspecting victims of over $500 million.
According to local news outlet Postimees, Ivan Turogin and Sergei Potapenko will be extradited to the US, with Estonia’s Ministry of Justice stating that there was sufficient evidence to show that the extradition conditions of the suspects have been satisfied.
The latest development came shortly after the Tallinn Circuit Court blocked a previous extradition approval by the government. Part of the court’s ruling stated that the Estonian authorities failed to check

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Abra Settles With Texas Securities Authorities After Enforcement Action

January 24, 2024

Crypto investment platform Abra settled in principle with Texas securities regulators, part of which requires the company to allow its customers to withdraw their assets.
Abra was previously accused of deceiving customers and violating securities laws through the offering of its interest-bearing products.
Abra to Return Crypto Assets to Investors
The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) announced the settlement with Abra – a company comprising four entities controlled by CEO William Barhydt – in a press release.
According to the settlement terms, Abra is expected to notify clients with balances of over $10 and give them seven days to enable them to withdraw their assets from the platform. Any remaining assets not claimed within the period will be converted to fiat and sent

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Nexo Slams $3 Billion Lawsuit Against Bulgaria, Citing Reputational and Financial Damages

January 24, 2024

Cryptocurrency lending platform Nexo is seeking damages worth $3 billion from the Bulgarian government after the latter dropped its criminal investigations against the company.
According to Nexo, the investigations allegedly cost the company a major soccer sponsorship deal and a stock market listing in the United States.
Nexo Sues Bulgaria for $3 Billion
Nexo and its subsidiaries filed an arbitration claim with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) – a Washington-based arbitration institution that is part of the World Bank – according to an official press release by the company.
The crypto lender stated that Bulgaria’s investigation into the company, which it termed a “politically motivated attack,” caused reputational damage for the firm,

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Coingecko’s X Accounts Compromised to Announce Fake Token Airdrop

January 11, 2024

Hackers briefly took over the official X accounts of major crypto data aggregator Coingecko to promote a fake token launch and airdrop.
The Coingecko incident became the second X hack within 24 hours after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s account was also compromised. 
Coingecko announced the news of the hack in an X post on Jan. 10, warning users not to click or engage any suspicious links. The platform further said it would carry out investigations and secure its X accounts. 

Our Twitter accounts @CoinGecko and @GeckoTerminal have been compromised. We’re taking immediate steps to investigate the situation and secure our accounts.
Please DO NOT click on any links or engage with suspicious content. Your security is our top priority.
We’ll keep you…

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Major Taiwan-Based ACE Exchange Refutes Fraud Allegations

January 5, 2024

ACE Exchange, one of Taiwan’s largest crypto trading platforms, is reportedly under investigation for alleged fraudulent activities, with local authorities estimating the value of the fraud to be over $32 million.
However, the company clarified that its employees were not involved in the alleged fraud case.
ACE Exchange Founder Arrested for Fraud Allegations
According to local news outlet Liberty Times, Taiwanese police arrested the founder of ACE Exchange, David Pan, and 13 other suspects said to be employees of the firm for reportedly promoting worthless cryptocurrencies to investors for three years.
Pan, along with Lin Nan, who appear to be the masterminds, told investors through various social media that these tokens will be listed on popular local and foreign crypto

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SBF’s Conviction, SEC’s Legal Defeats Against Ripple, Binance’s New CEO: Major Crypto Events That Dominated 2023

January 1, 2024

What an eventful year it has been for the crypto industry!
With 2023 coming to an end, the cryptocurrency space has had its share of battles and victories, all of which continue to shape an industry that, though still growing, has managed to make a mark in the global financial sector.
This year, regulators came down hard on key players in the market, one of the biggest and most influential CEOs pleaded guilty to a criminal charge, and the hype around a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) intensified following applications from major financial institutions.
We now go further to explore some of the major events that made headlines in 2023.
Bank Collapses That Affected Crypto Companies
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Signature Bank, and Silvergate, which catered to crypto

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Canadian Crypto Trading Platform Suspends Withdrawals Following Security Breach

December 29, 2023

Catalyx, a crypto trading platform based in Canada, suffered a security breach that resulted in the loss of customer funds in its custody.
While the exact value of the loss is not mentioned, the platform has halted crypto and fiat withdrawals amid ongoing investigations.
Catalyx Suspends Trading and Withdrawals
CatalX CTS, the operator of Catalyx, announced the incident in a press release, stating that the breach likely involved an employee.
The company investigating the theft also employed the services of audit and consulting giant Deloitte to “provide certain forensic and investigative services.”
Following the loss, users will, in the meantime, not be able to trade or withdraw their assets from the Catalyx platform, as both features are temporarily suspended.


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Revolut to Suspend Crypto Services for UK Business Clients: Report

December 19, 2023

Financial technology company Revolut is reportedly planning to halt cryptocurrency purchases for its business clients in the United Kingdom.
As stated by Revolut, the suspension will enable the company to make necessary adjustments in response to the new rules on crypto promotion by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which will take effect in January 2024.
Revolut to Temporarily Stop Crypto Purchases
Revolut’s UK business customers will only be able to sell and hold crypto but not make purchases via Revolut Business, according to City A.M, which cited an email from the fintech company. According to the report, the service will be halted for business clients starting from Jan. 3, 2024.
An excerpt from the email reads thus:

‘These requirements aim to enhance the

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SEC Denies Coinbase’s Rulemaking Petition, But Some Agency Commissioners Disagree

December 16, 2023

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has responded to Coinbase’s petition, seeking a tailored regulatory framework for the crypto market, stating that the rulemaking petition is “unwarranted.”
However, two out of the five Commissioners disagreed with the decision, believing the agency should engage in robust public conversations that could result in rulemaking or guidance.
Gary Gensler: Existing Securities Laws Applied to Crypto
The SEC, in a letter to Coinbase’s chief legal officer Paul Grewal, on Dec. 15, 2023, said it opposed the petition’s claims that existing securities laws were “unworkable” for the crypto securities markets, stressing that “the requested regulatory action would significantly constrain the Commission’s choices regarding

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Nirvana Finance Hacker Pleads Guilty, Will Forfeit Over $12 Million in Stolen Funds

December 15, 2023

A former senior security engineer, Shakeeb Ahmed, pled guilty to the hacking incident on the decentralized finance yield protocol, Nirvana Finance, along with another unnamed decentralized exchange (DEX).
Ahmed will also forfeit over $12.3 million in stolen assets, with the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York (SDNY) describing the case as the “first-ever conviction for the hack of a smart contract.”
Two DEX Attacks in One Month
In a press release on Dec. 14, 2023, Ahmed used his expertise in reverse engineering smart contracts and blockchain audits to hack two decentralized crypto exchanges in July 2022. According to the statement, he laundered the stolen assets from both platforms, using various means such as crypto mixers and overseas

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KuCoin to Exit New York and Pay $22 Million in Settlement Deal: Report

December 12, 2023

Major crypto exchange KuCoin has reportedly settled with New York authorities to stop offering its services in the local market, along with a payment of $22 million.
The settlement deal comes months after the New York Attorney General (NYAG) sued KuCoin for selling unregistered securities to users in the state.
KuCoin Leaves New York
According to a report by Reuters, the $22 million payment comprises $5.3 million to the state of New York and $16.7 million worth of crypto refunded to nearly 180,000 NY investors.
Commenting on the latest development, NYAG Letitia James said:

“Crypto companies should understand that they must play by the same rules as other financial institutions.”

KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu also announced the settlement on X, stating that affected users should

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Accused Estonian Crypto Fraudsters Might Not Get Extradited to the US

December 3, 2023

A circuit court in Estonia overturned a previous ruling allowing the extradition of two Estonian citizens charged with cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering to the United States.
According to the court, the Estonian government did not consider certain circumstances before agreeing to extradite the individuals involved in the case.
New Court Ruling Cancels Extradition Approval
Ivan Turogin and Sergei Potapenko, who ran a virtual currency mining business called HashFlare, saw their appeals to prevent extradition to the United States approved. The Tallinn Circuit Court annulled the extradition because the government did not make investigations nor verify the condition of the US detention facility.
Turogin and Potapenko were arrested in Estonia in November 2022 for

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US Treasury Sanctions 3rd Crypto Mixer Used by the Lazarus Group

December 3, 2023

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury has placed sanctions on cryptocurrency mixing service Sinbad, alleging that the mixer served as a money laundering channel for the notorious North Korean hackers Lazarus Group.
According to the enforcement agency, Sinbad has been used to launder millions of dollars worth of stolen crypto assets from high-profile hacks.
Lazarus Group Preferred Sinbad to Launder Stolen Crypto Funds
In a press release on Nov. 29, 2023, OFAC claimed that Sinbad was a “preferred” mixer for North Korea’s Lazarus Group, sanctioned in September 2019, alleging that the crypto mixing service helped process the hacking group’s illicit proceeds from various cryptocurrency heists.
According to the government

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