Members of the Indian National Congress (INC) have alleged that Bitcoin has been used to clean dirty money for the ruling party in the state of Gujarat. They are demanding a judicial probe into the matter be launched. Multi-Million Dollar Money Laundering Scam Alleged in Gujarat A spokesperson for the INC has claimed that the total figure involved in the scam is over $726 million. However, according to the publication, some claim the amount may be in excess of $12.7 billion. Shaktisinh Gohil alleges that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Gujarat have been cleaning money using Bitcoin transactions. He claims that state police have uncovered the scam but the kingpins of it have absconded. The INC minister went on to state that the BJP had used the previous demonetisation policy to cover up their money laundering and were now using Bitcoin to continue cleaning funds and extorting wealthy individuals in the state. He said: “Even as the BJP scrambles for answers to explain how the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), whose director is BJP President Amit Shah, received old currency worth Rs 745.58 crore in just 5 days and how Rs 3118.51 crore were deposited in 11 district co-operative banks linked with BJP leaders in Gujarat itself, a new ‘Mega Bitcoin Scam’ worth more than Rs 5,000 crore has been unravelled in the state.” The INC spokesperson claims that a range of crimes have become the norm in the state of Gujarat. These include the kinds of money laundering transactions alleged against the BJP, as well as kidnappings, and extortion of cryptocurrency using the muscle of the state police. He goes on to cite the example of Shailesh Bhatt who was allegedly the victim of a police extortion of Bitcoin. According to the INC spokesperson, 200 Bitcoin were taken from Bhatt who was then demanded to pay over $4.6 million. Gohil claims that the ruling party were guilty of double standards since Congress politicians had been hounded during the elections and yet they were not willing to investigate this “mega Bitcoin scam.” “Why did the investigation agencies not make Shailesh Bhatt a ‘complainant’ in the FIR that was filed in the first case? Why are the CBI/ED/Central authorities not investigating this ‘Mega Bitcoin Scam’? Who are they sheltering? What is the cover-up?” However, the BJP refute the allegation. They claim to be victims of the opposition party’s “dirty tricks department.” BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni told reporters earlier today: “We demand an impartial Supreme Court-monitored judicial investigation in this maze of ‘Mega Bitcoin Scam’ so that the truth comes out.” Featured image from Shutterstock. The post appeared first on .
A new report has revealed that three times more cryptocurrency has been stolen from crypto exchanges so far in 2018 compared to 2017. Data security company CipherTrace, which released the report, analyse cryptocurrency data to identify illicit money flow and money laundering. Money Laundering Reaches Record Highs Data collected by shows that $761 million has already been laundered via cryptocurrencies this year. This is almost three times the amount reached in 2017 of $266 million. Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace, said that he expects to see the total rise to $1.5 billion by the end of the year according to the current increasing rate of stolen funds. Chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, Jevans said: “We have seen a dramatic increase in cryptocurrency money laundering in 2018 so far. We’ve already tripled 2017 and we’re only halfway through the year.” Jevans highlighted how they track cryptocurrencies, including their anti-money laundering (AML) technology, which provides a visual interface that shows the movement of the coins. It also contains information about them, such as what country they are connected with and what exchanges have been used. CipherTrace also provides a risk scoring mechanism that allows the person using the system to look at every transaction or address involved. This can be used to identify potential sources of . While Bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous and recorded onto a public blockchain, there are ways users can make it harder for transactions to be followed. Jevans identifies Bitcoin mixers which can “scramble” the data and are commonly used on the dark net. He also said that some of these services have run paid ads on Google. Jevans said: “These let people contribute funds into a combined pool that will scramble them up and try to use a different pool of liquidity that is not trackable on the blockchain, so there’s no linkage between them to deliver funds out to the receivers. These are written by highly skilled people who may have PhDs, that are actively trying to avoid tracing.” Crypto Exchanges Suffer Hacks The crypto world is in danger of becoming synonymous with exchange hacks as recent thefts highlight the problem that goes back to the infamous Mt. Gox hack of $350 million. Recently two South Korean exchanges and were hacked for $30 million and $40 million respectively. In January Coincheck was for $425 million. In response, some companies have set up self-regulatory bodies such as the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association which is aiming to by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). This body consists of 16 crypto exchanges including bitFlyer, SBI Virtual Currencies, and Tokyo Bitcoin Exchange (DMM Bitcoin). However, these statistics show that not enough is being done to counter hacks and money laundering even though AML policies are widely implemented. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post appeared first on .