Authorities in Thailand have reportedly seized 100,000 bitcoins following the arrest arrest of cyber crime kingpin Sergey Medvedev.
The cash had been seized by regulation enforcement companies within the wake of a Feb. 2 arrest of Medvedev, the co-founder of an internet legal community referred to as Infraud. The platform served as a market for consumers and sellers of stolen bank card info, weapons, narcotics, authorities paperwork and different unlawful objects generally traded on the darknet.
Using right now’s costs, the cash confiscated by Thai authorities are value roughly $822 million. About six weeks in the past, the bitcoins would have been value practically $2 billion.
Medvedev, a Russian nationwide, was arrested in Bangkok on Feb. 2 on the request of U.S. regulation enforcement companies. His condo was raided by 30 officers from Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD), which confiscated the cash, a pocket book pc and several other paperwork.
The Infraud group operated beneath the motto, “In Fraud We Trust.” It was broadly thought to be one of many largest on-line legal networks in existence. The Bangkok Post reviews that the group was shaped in Ukraine in 2010 with Medvedev and Svyatoslav Bondarenko.
The group operated merchandising web sites that made it simple for criminals to buy stolen card and id knowledge. The platform had 10,901 members authorized to purchase and promote illicit objects, in line with numerous reviews.
According to U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney GeneralDavid Rybicki, Infraud was “the premier one-stop shop for cyber criminals worldwide.”
The Link Between Cryptocurrencies and Crime Networks
For all its obvious advantages, bitcoin has been thought of a key enabler of world crime networks. In the early days of digital foreign money, a lot of its opponents conflated it with the darkish net, and used legal networks like Infraud to de-legitimize bitcoin.
Advances in digital foreign money imply bitcoin isn’t the one platform able to masking worldwide crime networks. In truth, it isn’t even the perfect at doing so.
For the previous two years, cyber criminals have been disavowing bitcoin in favor of “privacy coins” that provide larger anonymity. That was the important thing takeaway of a current report launched by Recorded Future, an clever agency that analyzes legal marketplaces.
According to the report, bitcoin’s inventory amongst cyber criminals has been declining for the higher a part of two years, with a larger share of darkish net customers preferring Litecoin and even Dash.
“Bitcoin remains the gold standard in the dark web, with all vendors accepting it as a payment, and Litecoin emerged as the second most popular currency, with 30 percent of all vendors who implemented alternative payment methods willing to accept it,” the report learn.
Litecoin usually isn’t a part of the identical “privacy coin” grouping as Dash, Monero and Zcash. However, it’s nonetheless thought of one of many extra privacy-oriented altcoins after its builders added confidential transactions (CTs) to the protocol. The addition was made final September, and was thought of a major aggressive benefit in Litecoin’s quest to overhaul bitcoin.
Disclaimer: The writer owns bitcoin, Ethereum and different cryptocurrencies. He holds funding positions within the cash, however doesn’t interact in short-term or day-trading.
Featured picture courtesy of Shutterstock.