A report conducted by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has revealed that $88.6 million worth of illicit funds have been channeled through 46 various cryptocurrency exchanges with $9 million alone being funneled through the Switzerland-based exchange, ShapeShift.
According to WSJ, criminals used ShapeShift in order to remain anonymous and convert Bitcoin (BTC) into Monero, which is an untraceable cryptocurrency. Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, told WSJ in an interview that he does not believe “people should have their identity recorded to catch an occasional criminal,” leading to the suggestion that ShapeShift allowed the transactions of these illicit funds to continue under the guise of protecting their client’s anonymity. With help from investigations conducted by BTC and Ethereum, the WSJ was able to develop a software program that tracked the funds from 2,500 potential blackmail schemes, frauds and other crimes that were collected from 50 of the most recent ShapeShift transactions posted every 15 seconds. The list of suspicious addresses created using this program was given to ShapeShift and later on banned from the platform. Veronica McGregor, Chief Legal Officer at ShapeShift, stated the company’s plans for requiring user identification data to be collected starting last week.
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