The CoinGeek Pulse: Episode 17

Another one bites the dust. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN has penalized Larry Dean Harmon, the founder, administrator, and primary operator of Helix and Coin Ninja convertible virtual currency mixers or tumblers on charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations. 

Coincidentally, Dr. Craig Wright has said in the past that “companies engaged in the activity of money transfers and money handling by nature, makes them a money service business and are required to comply with the BSA obligations that apply to money transmitters. He also said “avoiding the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in the US is not an option.” Now, we see Wright’s prediction coming true.

Harmon operated Helix and Coin Ninja as an unregistered money services business. Both companies operated as an exchange of convertible virtual currencies by accepting and transmitting BTC through different methods. FinCEN investigation shows Helix conducted over a million transactions for its customers from 2014 to 2017. Helix allegedly operated as a coin mixer or tumbler and advertised its services in the internet as a way for customers to anonymously pay for things like drugs, guns, and child pornography.

While law enforcement continues its crackdown on companies and their employees allegedly involved in crypto crimes, many have already been indicted and sued. A few weeks ago, BitMEX and its founders were charged for racketeering, market manipulation, and money laundering just to name a few.

Now eyes have turned to other organizations that appear to be engaging in the kind of behavior Harmon is accused of. An example of such is CashShuffle. The coin mixer protocol operates on the same basis as Harmon’s Helix in that it entices criminals to use it to launder their tainted money.

Speaking of CashShuffle, Roger Ver has been spotted on social media demonstrating how to use the coin mixer protocol. The video is dubbed as a tutorial entitled ‘How to use CashShuffle to Have Anonymous Bitcoin Cash Transactions by Roger Ver.’ Ver has in the past been arrested for using the internet to sell explosives online. Ver also happens to be closely affiliated with Binance, Kraken and Shapeshfit.

Meanwhile, there are new developments in blockchain regulation worldwide. In Switzerland, a vital milestone has been reached in the country’s blockchain community. Swiss IT solutions and industrial systems provider Overfuture will now be able to list its articles of incorporation on a public blockchain. Overfuture will soon be able to tokenize their initial public offering (IPO) and offer investors access to tokenized class A shares.

In another part of the world, the Bank of Russia has published a new set of proposals for the regulation of digital currency and other digital assets. The proposals are aligned with a new law regulating the issuance of digital securities and digital currencies.

Over in Nigeria, a plan to facilitate national digital currency adoption is underway to create a “Digital Nigeria.” The country’s federal government is reviewing a proposed adoption framework highlighting an initiative to create a legal framework for governing the crypto space. And in New York, its financial services regulator is launching its first-ever techsprint, an initiative by regulators and industry stakeholders to work on their common goal towards digital regulatory reporting. The initiative seeks to give the regulator instant access to data provided by firms under its supervision. The recent developments in blockchain regulation across the world sets a precedent for other countries looking to expand their use of blockchain technology.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.