On Wednesday 22nd May 2019, Europol teamed up with the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), and authorities in Luxembourg to bring down bestmixer.io.
The closure was announced via a press release on the official Eurpol website, stating that the trio had “clamped down” on one of the world’s “leading cryptocurrency mixing” services.
Their investigation into bestmixer.io was initiated by the FIOD back in June 2018 with the support of digital security company, McAfee. This investigation lead to the FIOD seizing six servers in Luxembourg and The Netherlands.
What is Bestmixer.io?
It allowed user to swap cryptocurrency coins such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin while preserving the anonymity of the person making the swap.
One of the main focuses of the cryptocurrency industry is the ability to preserve one’s privacy while making use of funds.
As a result of this, coins which are traceable are deemed to be tainted and mixer services, such as bestmixer.io, offer the ability to obfuscate the origin of any given coin.
What’s the Issue?
While this is not the sole purpose of mixer services, the Europol announcement does state that “many of the mixed cryptocurrencies on Bestmixer.io had a criminal origin”.
It also reports that, in these cases, the service was more than likely used as a means to conceal or launder the money flow of criminals.
The information they have publicly admitted to acquiring includes “IP-addresses, transaction details, bitcoin addresses and chat messages”. This means that their seizure could possibly lead to arrests further down line.
Europol and the FOID will be creating “intelligence packages” with the information they acquire and they will proceed with sharing said packages with other countries.
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