Chip Mixer Shut Down by the DOJ
• Chip Mixer, a crypto tool designed to hide digital currency transactions, has been shut down by authorities with the Department of Justice (DOJ).
• The DOJ believes Chip Mixer was involved in several hacking schemes and crypto heists, as well as fraud and ransomware.
• A Vietnamese operator of the tool has been arrested and charged with money laundering, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, and identity theft.
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 allowed cyberthieves and assorted criminals to launder as much as $3 billion in illicit digital funds. The Department of Justice disabled two sites associated with Chip Mixer along with the primary product itself.
Implications Of Shutting Down Chip Mixer
Mixers can be very dangerous in that they are built to hide digital assets from prying eyes and law enforcement agencies. This means 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. This makes it hard for victims to trace stolen money since most of the time victims stand to lose out 90 percent of the time when this happens.
Vietnamese Operator Arrested & Charged
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. Jacqueline Maguire of the FBI Philadelphia Field Office also commented on how technology has changed criminal activity: Criminals have long sought to launder the proceeds of their illegal activity through various means… Technology has changed the game… with facilitator[s] like Nguyen enabling bad actors to do so on a grand scale with ease.“
Other U.S. Crypto Targeting Efforts
This isn’t first time U.S. authorities have targeted a foreign mixer – recently sanctions were issued against Tornado Cash which is alleged to have been utilized by agents of North Korea to launder as much as $7 billion in crypto assets.