Europol Shuts Down $200 Million Crypto Mixing Service Bestmixer
A Dutch investigation agency and Europol have shut down a $200 million crypto tumbler for being involved in money laundering.
A cryptocurrency tumbler, also known as a cryptocurrency mixing service, is an anonymity tool that claims to transform transactions of non-private coins to private ones by mixing crypto funds with others, which makes it difficult to track the funds’ original source.
According to the report, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has now seized six servers of major crypto tumbler Bestmixer.io, which had a reported turnover of at least $200 million since its launch in May 2018. The service was purportedly one of the three largest mixing services for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and others.
After initiating an investigation back in June 2018, the FIOD, along with Europol and Luxembourg authorities, have banned the platform, as they found that a large number of mixed coins on Bestmixer came from criminal activity and were allegedly used for money laundering or illegal financing.
As Europol noted, Bestmixer’s closure is the first legal enforcement action of its nature against a cryptocurrency tumbler. At press time, the Bestmixer website is not operating, with a FIOD notice claiming “you are not anonymous.”
Screenshot of Bestmixer website at press time
The FIOD reportedly collected data on all the transactions on the platform in the past year, including chat messages, bitcoin addresses, IP-addresses and more. The authority is planning to analyze the acquired information and share the results with other countries, Europol noted.
At press time, a number of crypto mixers can be found online, including ChipMixer, BitMix.Biz and BitBlender, among others.
Recently, Europol and German police seized the servers of a dark web marketplace, taking six figures in crypto from the arrested suspects.