According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, 88.6 million US dollars of illegally acquired funds were channelled through 46 different crypto exchanges via Bitcoin & Co. The report published on 28 September focuses in particular on the allegedly anonymous platform Shapeshift. According to the report, a total of nine million US dollars had been washed on the stock exchange. Now Shapeshift is defending itself with a public statement.
Shapeshift is a crypto exchange founded in 2014 that allows users to exchange crypto currencies such as Bitcoin without giving their identity. It is possible to track the addresses of the transactions. But who is behind the addresses remains unknown.
Criminals have now apparently taken advantage of the Bitcoin news
To prove this scam, onlinebetrug spared no expense and effort and developed its own computer program that tracked the financial flows of over 2,500 users suspected by the journal of fraud. According to the Bitcoin news, these include mainly investment fraudsters and Ponzi schemes. With the help of Shapeshift, for example, they have converted their Bitcoin into Monero and can no longer be found. The Wall Street Journal criticises in the report that Shapeshift has still not abandoned its policy of anonymity.
This is how Shapeshift reacts: Massive criticism of the criticism
On October 1, Shapeshift reacted to the report in a public statement. According to the Crypto Exchange, the report is “peppered with inaccurate and sometimes even false data”. For over five months, the Bitcoin Exchange had been working with the financial journal, answering its questions and always being cooperative. Among the many topics discussed, however, nothing of the criticisms that the Wall Street Journal has now published has ever come up. In addition, nine million US dollars are only 0.15 percent of the trading volume of Shapeshift – too little to criminalize it.
Fraudsters convert Bitcoin formula to Monero
But even to this extent money laundering via onlinebetrug is not possible. The Exchange works closely with a large number of other crypto exchanges in order to prevent criminal energy. In return, even entire countries are on the Bitcoin formula list. Instead of withholding information about suspicious accounts for months on end, the Wall Street Journal could have provided Shapeshift with the necessary data to prevent possible crimes. This was apparently not the aim of the financial journal.
Moreover, Shapeshift doubts the competence of the authors, who are by no means fully involved in the topic. In the public statement, the Exchange goes into further accusations in detail.
The old attempt to criminalize anonymity
Of course it is desirable to put a stop to Ponzi schemes and fraud. However, the question arises as to which is the best way to do this. It seems to be much better to educate people about their machinations than to criminalise projects that want to promote privacy.
Too quickly the child is dumped with the bathwater and whole large projects are shorn over a ridge, as here in the case of Shapeshift. Especially since the general accusation that crypto currencies are mainly used for criminal purposes no longer has much to do with reality. The trend is clearly in the opposite direction.