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(CNBC)   Illicit activity through bitcoin is estimated to be 34% of all transactions. Wait, did I say 34%? I meant .34%   (cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Ponzi scheme, Crime, Confidence trick, Charles Ponzi, dark-net market activity, Get-rich-quick scheme, illicit activity, Cryptocurrency-related crime  
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443 clicks; posted to Business » on 24 Jan 2021 at 11:20 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-01-24 7:41:12 PM  
I was assured by Janet Yellen and Lagarde this week that this was not the case.

Those are the people I truly trust and believe.
 
2021-01-24 7:45:06 PM  
Are they counting pump'n'dump scams?
 
2021-01-24 9:11:16 PM  
Do all the tumbling transactions count in the illicit activity column, or just the ones going directly to crime vendors?
 
2021-01-24 9:13:48 PM  
Is this counting the activity that North Korea and Russian oligarchs are using it for, or is this just the small time buying some drugs on the dark web activity? I suspect it is the latter.
 
2021-01-24 9:16:51 PM  
Yeah, considering how much bitcoin is used by HoIS to pay agents and other operatives in the field (see the Insurrection foreign payments) I find this a bit hard to believe.
 
2021-01-24 9:32:23 PM  
Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.
 
2021-01-24 11:40:12 PM  

koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.


Try taking a million bucks in cash through the airport on one flight without provenance. Now send a million bucks through tumblers in a shiatload of small transactions, from about 50 "wallets", over a few hours, all without leaving your living room.
 
2021-01-24 11:55:53 PM  

inglixthemad: koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.

Try taking a million bucks in cash through the airport on one flight without provenance. Now send a million bucks through tumblers in a shiatload of small transactions, from about 50 "wallets", over a few hours, all without leaving your living room.


Just wear a Patek Philippe on your wrist and no one will notice.
 
jvl [BareFark]
2021-01-25 12:08:23 AM  
Wait, a bitcoin company says bitcoin is mostly used for totes legit reasons? Well that settles that issue.
 
2021-01-25 12:12:43 AM  
Ehh, the banks have proven a safe means of moving drug money. You just have to pass it through a tax haven.
 
2021-01-25 12:18:52 AM  
Anyone else take the assessment of how many transactions are illicit from a private company that is financially incented to publish as rosy a number as possible?
 
2021-01-25 12:21:13 AM  
Any way you move money is legal, so long as you have enough of it. That's why cartels can open up bank accounts without problems but a dispensery cannot.

By the American definition of money laundering, cryptocurrencies are exactly that. The question is what to do about it, because they absolutely will not shut down a system used by so many powerful people.

I expect that our own agencies have used it to pay informants and bribe people overseas for covert operations, just like they use Tor.

If anything is done it will only affect the kinds of things that are within the reach of people of normal means and not touch the oligarchs around the world.
 
2021-01-25 12:22:35 AM  
They're counting people opening their accounts to see what's in there as transactions.
 
2021-01-25 12:36:28 AM  

HempHead: inglixthemad: koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.

Try taking a million bucks in cash through the airport on one flight without provenance. Now send a million bucks through tumblers in a shiatload of small transactions, from about 50 "wallets", over a few hours, all without leaving your living room.

Just wear a Patek Philippe on your wrist and no one will notice.


Bags of dirt to be assayed don't have the same restrictions as gold bullion at the border.  Nothing stopping someone from melting down gold into shot and mixing it with a couple gallons of dirt.
At least according to my banker dirt that contains gold has zero value until the dirt has been cleaned away.
 
2021-01-25 12:47:11 AM  

SumoJeb: HempHead: inglixthemad: koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.

Try taking a million bucks in cash through the airport on one flight without provenance. Now send a million bucks through tumblers in a shiatload of small transactions, from about 50 "wallets", over a few hours, all without leaving your living room.

Just wear a Patek Philippe on your wrist and no one will notice.

Bags of dirt to be assayed don't have the same restrictions as gold bullion at the border.  Nothing stopping someone from melting down gold into shot and mixing it with a couple gallons of dirt.
At least according to my banker dirt that contains gold has zero value until the dirt has been cleaned away.


that would weigh be 80lbs..
 
2021-01-25 12:54:14 AM  

SumoJeb: HempHead: inglixthemad: koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.

Try taking a million bucks in cash through the airport on one flight without provenance. Now send a million bucks through tumblers in a shiatload of small transactions, from about 50 "wallets", over a few hours, all without leaving your living room.

Just wear a Patek Philippe on your wrist and no one will notice.

Bags of dirt to be assayed don't have the same restrictions as gold bullion at the border.  Nothing stopping someone from melting down gold into shot and mixing it with a couple gallons of dirt.
At least according to my banker dirt that contains gold has zero value until the dirt has been cleaned away.


Dirt would likely draw scrutiny of its own. Can't have invasive species coming across the border.
 
2021-01-25 12:59:40 AM  

The Reverend Sam Hill: SumoJeb: HempHead: inglixthemad: koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.

Try taking a million bucks in cash through the airport on one flight without provenance. Now send a million bucks through tumblers in a shiatload of small transactions, from about 50 "wallets", over a few hours, all without leaving your living room.

Just wear a Patek Philippe on your wrist and no one will notice.

Bags of dirt to be assayed don't have the same restrictions as gold bullion at the border.  Nothing stopping someone from melting down gold into shot and mixing it with a couple gallons of dirt.
At least according to my banker dirt that contains gold has zero value until the dirt has been cleaned away.

Dirt would likely draw scrutiny of its own. Can't have invasive species coming across the border.


Hmm never thought of that.
I only brought it up because one of the local gold mines here is American owned and a guy flies down to  their Nevada HQ every week with a few hundred pounds of dirt in cloth sacks. (mineral samples for their main lab to process)
He once joked about how it's the easiest way to smuggle large amounts of money across borders.
 
2021-01-25 1:08:44 AM  
Yeah she made a comment and it cost me a fair amount of equity. I didn't turn into a Republican on the spot but I was a little miffed.
 
2021-01-25 3:08:50 AM  
The intended use of bitcoin, as a world currency free from government interference, has been lost. All bitcoin is now is a speculative house of cards. As I right now, it is essentially like going to a casino and playing blackjack. There is barely anyone using bitcoin as currency
 
2021-01-25 5:39:31 AM  
Clearly she communicated poorly when she said "Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern. I think many are used - at least in a transaction sense - mainly for illicit financing."

I found it obvious she meant non-investment transactions when she said"in a transactional sens


, but clearly the bitcoin sites and MSM did not.
 
2021-01-25 5:40:07 AM  

arthur_toafk: Clearly she communicated poorly when she said "Cryptocurrencies are a particular concern. I think many are used - at least in a transaction sense - mainly for illicit financing."

I found it obvious she meant non-investment transactions when she said"in a transactional sens


, but clearly the bitcoin sites and MSM did not.


I hate my phone's keyboard
 
2021-01-25 6:32:51 AM  

JK8Fan: The intended use of bitcoin, as a world currency free from government interference, has been lost. All bitcoin is now is a speculative house of cards. As I right now, it is essentially like going to a casino and playing blackjack. There is barely anyone using bitcoin as currency


Strike on the Lightning network was just released. Game changer there. Allows for instant payment settlement. The adoption is just starting.
 
2021-01-25 7:02:27 AM  

dv-ous: Are they counting pump'n'dump scams?


I've talked to someone who is a fan of bitcoin, and it's a total.pain in the arse to use in the US.
If you move a lot of meth or sex slaves then it's very easy to use.
Are you suggesting blockchain has any legit use subby, or that bitcoin is totes clean?  My study of this article found boxes labeled as car parts full of bath salts.
If you have the gambling cash then buy and hold and hope it's not wiped out by hackers or China who made bitcoin it's biatch.  Ordinary Americans should avoid it like the plague.
 
2021-01-25 7:27:06 AM  

JK8Fan: The intended use of bitcoin, as a world currency free from government interference, has been lost. All bitcoin is now is a speculative house of cards. As I right now, it is essentially like going to a casino and playing blackjack. There is barely anyone using bitcoin as currency


That was Yellen's point, though not explicitly stated.  The vast majority of bitcoin trade volume is for "investment" not "transactions", and the vast majority of those  "transactions" are illegal.
 
2021-01-25 8:34:50 AM  

JK8Fan: The intended use of bitcoin, as a world currency free from government interference, has been lost. All bitcoin is now is a speculative house of cards. As I right now, it is essentially like going to a casino and playing blackjack. There is barely anyone using bitcoin as currency


Strike on the Lightning network was just released.  That's a game changer.  I bet you 1 Bitcoin you're wrong.  Wait!  Make that 0.5 Bitcoin!  Wait!  Make that 2 Bitcoins!

Bitcoin is the future of currency.
 
2021-01-25 8:37:02 AM  

Rapmaster2000: JK8Fan: The intended use of bitcoin, as a world currency free from government interference, has been lost. All bitcoin is now is a speculative house of cards. As I right now, it is essentially like going to a casino and playing blackjack. There is barely anyone using bitcoin as currency

Strike on the Lightning network was just released.  That's a game changer.  I bet you 1 Bitcoin you're wrong.  Wait!  Make that 0.5 Bitcoin!  Wait!  Make that 2 Bitcoins!

Bitcoin is the future of currency.


Thank you for finally seeing the light.
 
2021-01-25 9:00:14 AM  

arthur_toafk: JK8Fan: The intended use of bitcoin, as a world currency free from government interference, has been lost. All bitcoin is now is a speculative house of cards. As I right now, it is essentially like going to a casino and playing blackjack. There is barely anyone using bitcoin as currency

That was Yellen's point, though not explicitly stated.  The vast majority of bitcoin trade volume is for "investment" not "transactions", and the vast majority of those  "transactions" are illegal.


Because why in the world would you buy or sell things of value for Bitcoin when bitcoin's value fluctuates so extremely?  As a buyer I don't know how much it's costing me and I'd rather pay cash and keep my Bitcoin for the future increases in value. As a seller if I want Bitcoin for investment why bother with this other transaction instead of just buying it directly?
Only reason to involve Bitcoin in a purchase is to hide the paper trail. Wonder why you'd want to do that.
 
2021-01-25 9:33:28 AM  

AsparagusFTW: I was assured by Janet Yellen and Lagarde this week that this was not the case.

Those are the people I truly trust and believe.


For Banksters its 34%.

Snicker
 
2021-01-25 9:34:35 AM  

koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.


The regulated bankers on wall street have a fine record too.
 
2021-01-25 9:36:30 AM  

Linux_Yes: AsparagusFTW: I was assured by Janet Yellen and Lagarde this week that this was not the case.

Those are the people I truly trust and believe.

For Banksters its 34%.

Snicker


What's the difference between a bankster and a banker?   Besides two extra consonants.
 
2021-01-25 9:38:21 AM  

BolloxReader: Any way you move money is legal, so long as you have enough of it. That's why cartels can open up bank accounts without problems but a dispensery cannot.

By the American definition of money laundering, cryptocurrencies are exactly that. The question is what to do about it, because they absolutely will not shut down a system used by so many powerful people.

I expect that our own agencies have used it to pay informants and bribe people overseas for covert operations, just like they use Tor.

If anything is done it will only affect the kinds of things that are within the reach of people of normal means and not touch the oligarchs around the world.


The only legal currencies are the ones big business and the rich want.
 
2021-01-25 9:54:52 AM  
Luckily, all people engaged in illicit activities self-report for research purposes.
 
2021-01-25 9:55:15 AM  

cefm: arthur_toafk: JK8Fan: The intended use of bitcoin, as a world currency free from government interference, has been lost. All bitcoin is now is a speculative house of cards. As I right now, it is essentially like going to a casino and playing blackjack. There is barely anyone using bitcoin as currency

That was Yellen's point, though not explicitly stated.  The vast majority of bitcoin trade volume is for "investment" not "transactions", and the vast majority of those  "transactions" are illegal.

Because why in the world would you buy or sell things of value for Bitcoin when bitcoin's value fluctuates so extremely?  As a buyer I don't know how much it's costing me and I'd rather pay cash and keep my Bitcoin for the future increases in value. As a seller if I want Bitcoin for investment why bother with this other transaction instead of just buying it directly?
Only reason to involve Bitcoin in a purchase is to hide the paper trail. Wonder why you'd want to do that.


Being able to take your wealth with you across borders without fear of confiscation is pretty amazing. Try carrying gold or other assets across the border without any Gov official swiping it at border crossings.

And again, still early in the adoption. The wide fluctuations will decrease with time. We are only in the first inning and it is clear why Yellen and Lagarde are unhappy with it. It takes away power from them.
 
2021-01-25 10:32:23 AM  

HempHead: inglixthemad: koder: Hey remember that completely unregulated market where 99.6% of cash flowing through it was clean and totally legal? Neither do I.

Try taking a million bucks in cash through the airport on one flight without provenance. Now send a million bucks through tumblers in a shiatload of small transactions, from about 50 "wallets", over a few hours, all without leaving your living room.

Just wear a Patek Philippe on your wrist and no one will notice.


As someone who has taken a private jet from SJC to Taiwan, you aren't wholly incorrect, but we're assuming they want close to a million in liquid assets in short order. Plus you have to get that watch first, which can be dangerous both financially and legally.

SumoJeb: Hmm never thought of that.
I only brought it up because one of the local gold mines here is American owned and a guy flies down to  their Nevada HQ every week with a few hundred pounds of dirt in cloth sacks. (mineral samples for their main lab to process)
He once joked about how it's the easiest way to smuggle large amounts of money across borders.


To a degree, but as my wife learned it can be difficult even with solid rock samples. Long story short, my wife's family was suing the local gold mine because of the contract their grandmother had with the company. In return for the minerals on the land, she (and her heirs) were supposed to get paid a certain amount of the value extracted. The company kept some shoddy books, likely on purpose but that's a different story, to hide how much was in what area. So my wife and I come across the US / Canadian border with core samples from various locations on the land. After landing to clear customs, CBP just about had a fit because we had those samples, which had obvious flecks of gold in them, and they wanted a value, why that value wasn't declared, and were talking about various unpleasant legal consequences. The only thing that saved us more headache was we had the legal documents to get those samples and bring them in for assessment. In other words we, as laypeople, had no ability to know the value we were trying to determine the value because we were bringing them in to determine value.

Really, the value in those collective samples wasn't much anyway. We would've need 100 times that much for it to be truly valuable, which is why all the ore processing was done on-site.
 
2021-01-25 11:12:10 AM  
What is the % of US dollars used in crime?  Your local meth dealer isn't taking bitcoin.  Money laundering is mostly done in USD.

Anything of value that is fungible will be used for crime eventually.  Old article, but relevant:
https://zycrypto.com/criminals-use-us​d​-illicit-affairs-cryptocurrency-says-u​s-treasury/
 
2021-01-25 11:17:57 AM  

Rapmaster2000: Linux_Yes: AsparagusFTW: I was assured by Janet Yellen and Lagarde this week that this was not the case.

Those are the people I truly trust and believe.

For Banksters its 34%.

Snicker

What's the difference between a bankster and a banker?   Besides two extra consonants.


Well.....they say if u want to rule the world then own a bank.
 
2021-01-25 11:39:28 AM  

AsparagusFTW: And again, still early in the adoption. The wide fluctuations will decrease with time. We are only in the first inning and it is clear why Yellen and Lagarde are unhappy with it. It takes away power from them.


Speaking of power, at some point we need to solve the "wasting *enormous* quantities of electricity to do non-productive math" part of things. Especially if we're still in "early adoption".
 
2021-01-25 12:07:52 PM  
incendi:
Speaking of power, at some point we need to solve the "wasting *enormous* quantities of electricity to do non-productive math" part of things. Especially if we're still in "early adoption".

I agree, and many cryptos are moving to proof of stake, which requires much less power.  I can see bitcoin going there eventually, but it will take a while since its the biggest, oldest and slowest to change.
 
2021-01-25 2:49:35 PM  

Lord Bear: What is the % of US dollars used in crime?  Your local meth dealer isn't taking bitcoin.  Money laundering is mostly done in USD.

Anything of value that is fungible will be used for crime eventually.  Old article, but relevant:
https://zycrypto.com/criminals-use-usd​-illicit-affairs-cryptocurrency-says-u​s-treasury/


Most known money laundering is done in USD because it's a reserve currency. Meaning that even in graft friendly countries, e.g. Russia, they move the money around in USD after it leaves the country at worst. Being a reserve currency means stability, less likely the value will drop precipitously.

However while your local meth dealer might not be taking bitcoin, don't bet on them not using bitcoin. Whether it is to pay upstream, or to move their own money, if they're not a tweaker themselves there is a fair chance they are using something other than dollars. Should they have any brains left at all, they're going to realize that too much green money moving in looks suspicious. Think: American Made, where the guy (stupidly) is piling money everywhere instead of doing the smart thing on the way back and hitting up an island to deposit the money offshore before it ever hits the US. Yes, even back then, there were places to put money that the US government (at the time) would've had zero clue since it never passed through a US bank. They also would gladly use names with very little documentation.

The likelihood of that rises the further up the chain you go, but it's all relative to risk at the time. There's little point in moving a million bucks through bitcoin, even if completely untraceable, when the value might precipitously drop to seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars before you can finish laudering the money and pulling it out. There is some fungibility here for the person moving the money, as in how likely are they to get caught moving cash, and how much would they lose at that point. Also the costs, how much to move it as BTC versus dollars where you have pay couriers and so on. Finally, if you're lucky enough to "own a bank" (have blackmail on the officers or a less adversarial arrangement) you still have to be careful not to trip the breaker as it were, alerting the authorities. Banks have to file a lot of paperwork, and that can come back to bite you in the a$$.

My friend used to consult with law enforcement about tracking financial items, especially figuring out weird things people used to hide money. When people were "rich" they might hide money in legal things. However if someone was poorer, they had to move the money "invisibly" if they didn't want to get flagged. I mean, you're not buying US$100k in rare coins without raising suspcion if you technically work at a job where you are paid just above minimum wage.
 
2021-01-25 6:18:36 PM  
subby might want to reread the article.
 
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