Crypto Mixer ChipMixer Washed Out By National Authorities, $46 Million In Bitcoin Confiscated: Europol
The crypto mixer founded in 2017 was shut down by national authorities led by the European Union Agency For Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol).Authorities seized $46 million in Bitcoin and 7 terabytes of data from the crypto tumbler.Another crypto mixer, Tornado Cash, was sanctioned by the U.S Treasury back in August 2022.
Crypto mixing platform ChipMixer was closed by the European Union Agency For Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) on suspicions that the service aided dark web markets, ransomware groups, illicit goods trafficking, procurement of child sexual exploitation material, and stolen crypto assets.
Authorities from Belgium, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and the U.S. collaborated to shut down the crypto tumbler which has operated since around 2017. 1,909 Bitcoin (BTC) worth an estimated $46 million was seized after authorities knocked down ChipMixer’s infrastructure. Europol also confiscated four servers and seven terabytes of data from the platform.
Europol’s statement on the matter alleged that ChipMixer operated an unlicensed cryptocurrency mixer and laundered 152,000 BTC worth a staggering $3.8 billion per Bitcoin’s market price on Wednesday.
Authorities also hinted that ChipMixer may have been used to launder “some of the crypto assets stolen after the bankruptcy of a large crypto exchange in 2022”. The crypto exchange was not named in Europol’s statement.
ChipMixer was supposedly a haven for ransomware attackers looking to obscure their stolen digital asset, Europol added.
Ransomware actors such as Zeppelin, SunCrypt, Mamba, Dharma or Lockbit have also used this service to launder ransom payments they have received.
Feds Target Crypto Mixers
ChipMixer is another crypto mixer on the U.S. radar. In August 2022, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned popular crypto tumbler Tornado Cash. Tornado Cash was sanctioned on the belief that North Korean cyber-terrorists constantly leveraged the Ethereum-based protocol for money laundering operations.
Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev was arrested in the Netherlands shortly after the sanction. Pertseve remained in detention at press time after a judge ruled against bail conditions for the crypto developer.