Over the past two years via the popular platform for instant exchange of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies ShapeShift were laundered $9 million, allegedly linked to criminal activities. This makes it the largest area amongst 46 of cryptocurrency exchanges, through which in the aggregate has been washed $88.6 million, according to a investigation by The Wall Street Journal.
While most exchanges are based outside the United States, ShapeShift officially registered in Switzerland, but the company’s offices are located in Colorado. There’s also live founder and CEO of ShapeShift Eric Works and a number of top managers of the company, including chief operating officer and marketing Director.
Until recently, the main feature of ShapeShift was the possibility of exchange of cryptocurrency without the need for registration or providing any personal data. This opportunity will close on 1 October when there will be an official launch of a new membership program, providing for mandatory registration of users.
However, according to the publication, while the loophole was open, she enjoyed to the full. As one example, is the case with the hackers behind the infamous virus-the extortioner Wannacry. It is expected that millions of dollars in bitcoins that were received from victims of the virus have been converted to ShapeShift into an anonymous cryptocurrency Monero, and then their traces were lost.
For its investigation, the WSJ used special software that tracked the movement of funds with more than 500 cryptocurrency wallets, which are assumed to have been associated with the investment fraud, hackers and extortionists. Many of the individual alleged perpetrators are still unknown or they are in hiding. Some of them were arrested and part of the money – less than $2 million was apparently seized by the police.
The newspaper also contacted ShapeShift, giving the company a suspicious address that is used on the platform. As stated by the Director of legal Affairs Veronica McGregor, they were all investigated and blocked.
She also noted that effective October 1, new rules for ShapeShift are the company’s desire to protect themselves from risks as a result of any action by regulators or law enforcement agencies
In addition, Veronica McGregor said the statement, which Eric Works repeatedly done in the past, talking about its commitment to the privacy of users. According to her, the need to separate personal views Vorhees from the policy company.
“The fact that our leader adheres to a certain philosophy does not mean that the business will be managed that way. And he definitely does not support money laundering,” said Veronica McGregor.
The publication also considers it necessary to draw attention to the fact that in comparison with the theme of the huge amounts that banks launder ($2.7 billion per day over the past decade), $9 million from the ShapeShift is a drop in the ocean. The difference between what was laundered through banks and cryptocurrency platform, is therefore $1.97 trillion.
Earlier, laundering money of Colombian drug cartels were blamed on Bitfinex team, but its representatives have categorically denied such claims.