Business

Erik Gibbs

Anti-corruption case in Brazil summons crypto exchanges

A major anti-corruption case involving Brazilian functionaries has now ensnared three cryptocurrency exchanges. Four individuals have been accused of hacking into cell phones used by Brazil’s Justice Minister Sergio Moro when he was a judge presiding over a money laundering case against former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The individuals accused of the hack have allegedly been involved in crypto activity and the judge presiding over their trial wants to see how much they could have been moving across the exchanges.

Mercado Bitcoin, Braziliex and Foxbit are now required to turn over any details they have on the defendants related to crypto holdings beginning in January 2018. According to Valor, Judge Vallisney de Souza ordered the release of the information, adding that the country’s central bank to lead the reporting and to provide input in conjunction with the “National Financial System Customer Registry to communicate exclusively to the financial institutions with whom the investigated persons have or had relationships during the period of bank secrecy, thus accelerating the collection of data from such entities.”

Moro launched the investigation that ultimately led to Lula’s downfall. Operation Car Wash was a huge deal in the country, as well as around the world, as it ultimately ensnared Brazil’s Petrobras petroleum firm and uncovered bribes paid to several politicians, including the former president. Lula is now serving time for his role in the corruption scandal.

Gustavo Santos is one of the four individuals charged with hacking Moro’s phone. He admitted in court that he was involved, adding that another member of the group, Walter Delgatti, was going to sell information obtained from the phone to Brazil’s Workers’ Party.

While some crypto enthusiasts believe that their identities cannot be revealed through their crypto footprint, many jurisdictions have already been able to uncover the people behind the addresses on more than a few occasions. This is an important step in the evolution of digital currency, as it shows that crypto will be able to act in accordance to international monetary regulations and policies.

Brazil has been one of the earlier adopters of full-blown identification policies, creating a regulation earlier this year that requires exchanges to report transactions to the Department of Federal Revenue in order to properly assess taxes.

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