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U.S. Shuts Down Crypto Tool Chip Mixer, Arrests Operator

Chip Mixer Shut Down by DOJ

  • The Department of Justice has shut down the crypto tool Chip Mixer for its involvement in cybertheft, fraud, and ransomware.
  • Authorities believe that up to $3 billion in illicit digital funds have been laundered through Chip Mixer.
  • The operator of Chip Mixer has been arrested and charged with several crimes including money laundering.

What is Chip Mixer?

Chip Mixer is a notorious crypto tool designed to hide where digital currencies have been garnered or who they’re being used by. It was used by cyberthieves and assorted criminals to launder as much as $3 billion in illicit digital funds. The Department of Justice (DOJ) shut down two sites associated with Chip Mixer along with the primary product itself.

Why Is This Dangerous?

Mixers can be very dangerous because they are built to hide digital assets from prying eyes and law enforcement agencies. Thus, should crypto thieves or other illicit actors seek out their services, they can enclose where they receive their money, where they’re sending it, and who they got it from. If the money is stolen (which is usually is), it can be hard to trace, leaving victims at a 90 percent loss rate.

Who Was Arrested?

A Vietnamese operator of the tool has been arrested and charged with money laundering, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, and identity theft among other things. According to Jacqueline Maguire of the FBI Philadelphia Field Office: „Criminals have long sought to launder the proceeds of their illegal activity through various means.“

Not The First Time For U.S.

This isn’t the first time the U.S. has targeted a foreign mixer; recently they issued sanctions against Tornado Cash which was alleged to be utilized by agents of North Korea to launder as much as $7 billion in crypto assets.