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Dark Web Tool That Checked For Dirty Bitcoin Shuts Down

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In brief

  • Antinalysis shut down today after anti-money laundering software AML Bot, from which Antinalysis pulled the data, cut off their third-party service.
  • AML Bot confirmed to Decrypt that addresses that used the tool were reported to law enforcement.
  • Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic told Decrypt that law enforcement could now also potentially identify the creator.

This weekend, Blockchain security analysts discovered a dark web tool called Antinalysis that produces criminal risk reports which can be used to identify illicit Bitcoin.

The sudden attention has, however, forced the tool to shut down as one of its service providers, AML Bot, cut off access.

AML Bot confirmed to Decrypt in a statement today that the company, which unwittingly provided Antinalysis with access to its service, “made an internal investigation and [shut down] the Antinalysis account.” AML Bot is itself a reseller for Crystal Blockchain, another blockchain analytics tool.

“We’d like to assure you that we are working on intelligent measures to prevent such registration in the future,” the statement from AML Bot read.

The company also confirmed that it had reported all relevant addresses that used Antinalysis to law enforcement. That may provide leads that could help identify Antinalysis’ creator, Tom Robinson, co-founder of London-based blockchain investigation firm Elliptic, told Decrypt.

At the same time, an anonymous technical administrator of Antinalysis described the crackdown by AML Bot as “the unlawful warranted seizure of” their data source, which they blamed on the media exposure.

“We consider ourself [sic.] activists that dislike state agencies conducting mass surveillance under the name of national security and criminal investigations,” said Antinalysis’s technical admin, who goes by pharoah, said in a statement to the BBC.

A tool that once checked for dirty Bitcoin

Antinalysis let users check whether specific Bitcoin can be traced to crime. Once a Bitcoin wallet was linked, the tool would break down from where the Bitcoin in that wallet originates and how risky it is to hold it.

The ability to conduct such an analysis is in part due to the transparency inherent in blockchain technology. Blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, record immutable transaction history, making it easy to determine if a specific cryptocurrency was ever used for any illicit activity.

The tool classified Bitcoin earned from darknet markets, ransomware, and theft as an “extreme risk,” while Bitcoin from exchanges and freshly-mined coins were categorized as “no risk” assets.

The purpose of the tool was to run checks on wallets before cryptocurrency exchanges did the same. When illicit Bitcoin entered a platform like Binance or Coinbase, for example, the tool would raise a red flag. At this point, a platform could then halt the Bitcoin in question.

If halted, these Bitcoin can be handed over to authorities.

The U.S. government auctions seized Bitcoin, often at a premium, and so dirty Bitcoin finds its way back to circulation. In 2014, venture capitalist Tim Draper acquired 30,000 Bitcoin confiscated from the dark web marketplace Silk Road at an undisclosed price. Presumably, Draper’s Bitcoin is acquitted in the eyes of detection tools, and so he won’t be red-flagged as a criminal.

But that might not be the case for many other wallets that unwittingly contain Bitcoin with a dirty track record.

Antinalysis and Incognito Market

But the technical admin, pharoah, claims the tool wasn’t just for criminals.

“Our team believes that, in the current democratic world, every one last human being has the right to do whatever they want and possess [a] complete overview of their privacy while not violating the individual rights of others,” they said.

“It’s true that the tool could be used by anyone—not just for criminals. However, it was created by one of the admins of a darknet market,” Robinson told Decrypt.

In his analysis last week, Robinson identified the creator of Antinalysis to be one of the developers of Incognito Market, a dark web marketplace for narcotics—now confirmed in the technical admin’s statement who identified links with Incognito.

Launched in late 2020, Incognito accepts payments in Bitcoin and privacy-focused Monero.

The launch of a tool for criminality checks is a sign that criminals struggle to cash out their Bitcoin proceeds, said Robinson in his analysis last week.

But it also made crime-oriented blockchain analytics available to the public for the first time.

Well, not for long.

Source: https://decrypt.co/78613/dark-web-tool-that-checked-dirty-bitcoin-shuts-down

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What Did Jordan Peterson And Maxime Bernier Say About Bitcoin And The Austrians?

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The Bitcoinization of Jordan Peterson is a go. The famed psychologist and media personality had a Canadian politician as a guest in his podcast and couldn’t help but touch on the subject. And Maxime Bernier was right there with him, which lead to a brief discussion about Austrian Economics. Even though both Peterson and Bernier are controversial figures, they’re as mainstream as it gets. This isn’t Bitcoiners preaching to the choir.

Related Reading | That JPMorgan Report On El Salvador Doesn’t Even Mention The Lightning Network

As if he was walking through a minefield, Jordan Peterson approached the subject carefully and in a non-comital way:

“The cryptocurrency types. You know? The people who’re pushing Bitcoin in particular, make the extraordinarily radical claim that it would be better for everyone if the entire business of money was taken out of the hands of government permanently. And that’s essentially what Bitcoin allows. At least at the present time.”

Surprisingly for everyone not familiar with the politician, Maxime Bernier agrees and flashes his Austrian Economics credentials. Peterson follows the bread crumbs and asks him about that, Bernier answers:

“I believe, yes. The cycles that we have, the ups and downs in the economy, is because of the Central Bank. Money is everywhere, and if you create too much money out of thin air, you’ll have inflation. And distortion in the economy. And the boom and bust that we have. So, I 100% agree with Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, and these economists.”

For more information and Austrian Economics’ concepts, check The Bitcoinist Book Club’s analysis of “The Bitcoin Standard.”

BTCUSD price chart for 09/18/2021 - TradingView

BTC price chart for 09/18/2021 on FTX | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

So, Who’s Maxime Bernier?

In the video’s information box, Jordan Peterson ’s team informs:

“In this episode, Dr. Peterson is joined by the Honorable Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), former MP of Beauce (2006-2019) and candidate for the Prime ministership of Canada.”

In 2017, Maxime Bernier tried to win the head of the Conservative Party. He failed. The next year, they removed him from the Official Opposition shadow cabinet. Later that year, he founded the People’s Party of Canada. In 2019, the novel party didn’t do so well, but, cut to 2021 and the People’s Party of Canada is suddenly on everyone’s radar.

The National Post explains the main reason:

“With protests against COVID-19 public-health measures growing, Bernier has tapped into a deep well of resentment about the way Canadians have had to live for the past 18 months, and fears about what the next months will look like.”

Apparently, the People’s Party of Canada is en route to get 6% in the next  Canadian elections. If it happens, they’ll become one of the major political forces in the country. The Washington Post explains the situation:

“Six percent is not an impressive figure unto itself, and it’s likely the party will not win a single parliamentary seat. Yet the Green Party won zero seats and 4.3 percent of the popular vote in the 2004 general election and was nevertheless swiftly institutionalized by the media. Proclaimed one of Canada’s “major parties.”

What Does Jordan Peterson Think About Bitcoin?

The Canadian psychologist learned from the best. He had four of the brightest minds in the Bitcoin space explaining everything to him, and he got most of it on the first try. We at Bitcoinist broke down the episode, took notes, and transformed them into this analysis: Part 1, Part 2. The most amazing quote was this one:

Related Reading | Bitcoin Gains Steam With U.S. Politicians, Will It Become A National Movement?

After listening carefully, Peterson synthesizes those ideas in a quote for the ages. “Whatever energy is expended in the production of Bitcoin and the maintenance of the system should be more than recouped by the increased efficiency of every system that uses Bitcoin as a transactional device.” Boom! If we take that into account, “There’ll be a net energy gain and not a net energy loss if you calculated it across the entire system.”

That conversation sparked the Maxime Bernier one. One of Canada’s biggest stars talking about Bitcoin in good light with a major political candidate. Who would’ve thought?

Featured Image: Screenshot from the video | Charts by TradingView

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Source: https://bitcoinist.com/what-did-jordan-peterson-and-maxime-bernier-say-about-bitcoin-and-the-austrians/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-did-jordan-peterson-and-maxime-bernier-say-about-bitcoin-and-the-austrians

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Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) pumps and sees $2 billion traded after Coinbase listing

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Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) believers were in for a surprise Friday morning after Coinbase, one of the world’s largest and most regulated crypto exchanges, listed the memecoin on its platform.

“SHIB is now live on Coinbase and in the Coinbase iOS and Android apps. Coinbase customers can log in now to buy, sell, convert, send, receive or store SHIB,” the exchange said in a tweet.

The move is slightly uncanny for Coinbase, which has historically taken a regulatory-first approach towards listing cryptocurrencies on its platform. The firm also went public earlier this year—holding it accountable to even more regulations and liasions now that public money is involved. 

Coinbase is, however, starting to make moves to appeal to a broader base of investors. It raised $2 billion in a debt note offering this week to expand its product offering, and has listed ‘altcoins’ at a faster rate this year.

“One of the most common requests we hear from customers is to be able to buy and sell more cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. We announced a process for listing assets, designed in part to accelerate the addition of more cryptocurrencies,” stated Coinbase in a release. “We are also investing in new tools to help people understand and explore cryptocurrencies,” it added.

Such moves help bolster the rising coffers of Coinbase: It earned over $1.2 billion in revenue in Q1 2021, but is arguably looking for more.

Shiba Inu frenzy

Inspired by the breed of cutesy Shiba Inu dogs which find their place in the online meme community, Shiba Inu was launched in August 2020 by a group of anonymous developers looking to emulate the success of Dogecoin.

The token didn’t instantly catch on among the masses, but incessant hype—partly driven by the antics of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his Dogecoin fascination on social app Twitter—saw SHIB rise 15,067,601% from its November lows. 

That’s enough to turn every $1,000 invested in the token to a staggering $150 million as of today, and even more at SHIB’s all-time high of $0.00003791 in May 2021.

Meanwhile, SHIB pumped nearly 35% to a daily high of $0.00000932 after yesterday’s listing. Over $412 million worth of the token exchange hands on Coinbase at press time, and over $2 billion traded across all crypto exchanges combined.

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Source: https://cryptoslate.com/shiba-inu-coin-shib-pumps-and-sees-2-billion-traded-after-coinbase-listing/

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The Head of Diem wants you to trust Facebook, but is he fighting a losing battle?

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Head of “Facebook Coin,” David Marcus discussed the up-and-coming Novi wallet, saying users do not need to worry about security or privacy.

However, Facebook’s reputation on both counts is somewhat in the gutter. As such, Marcus may well be trying to achieve the impossible in convincing people otherwise.

Nonetheless, in his latest interview, he states his case pleading with people to give Diem a chance.

Facebook Wants Your Trust

Speaking to Yahoo Finance, Marcus wanted to reassure users that Diem, and the Novi wallet, are safe to use. What’s more, he said that no data will be used for ad targeting or any purpose related to the Facebook advertising model.

Marcus points out that from the onset, the Diem infrastructure was designed in such a way to avoid “commingled” financial and social data. That way, there is no controversy over a single entity holding data across different categories on its users.

“And, you know, basically, the way that we’ve designed this– and it actually took us a lot of effort to build it the right way– is that your financial data is not going to be commingled with your social data.”

Diem is looking to disrupt the overseas retail remittance market. Marcus said it’s a huge market that is ripe for the picking. With that, he hopes that people will give Diem a shot. And once they do, the firm will do its utmost to overturn people’s skepticism.

Although, given the scandals of the past, he admits that this is a long play.

“Over time, we plan to earn people’s trust so they give us a shot for other things over time. But it’ll take time and I’m cognizant of that.”

User Comments Discussed

When it comes to social media dominance, Facebook is up with the best of them. Despite being known as a platform for boomers, it still pulls in 2.9 billion monthly active users. Meaning, Diem’s potential userbase is bigger than anything that exists in crypto right now.

Based on trend analysis, it seems as though there’s no stopping its growth, with India, the United States, and Brazil ranking as the countries with the highest number of users.

Facebook monthly active users
Facebook monthly active users. Source: statista.com

Nonetheless, on the matter of trusting Facebook and Diem, the (so far) 16 comments on this article are all overwhelmingly against. While that may not represent wider views, it’s still telling that 100% of comments slam the idea of trusting Facebook with financial data.

One user wrote of his concerns of political bias and censorship, which together make an untrustworthy “combo.”

In context; Facebook has a history of political activism as well as working with the democrat government censoring free speech. Not a trustworthy combo.

And despite Marcus’ explanation of separating financial and social data, another user remained skeptical of the claim by saying:

“And now they track your every purchase. Or at best gather stats for the retail business selling them data on what and where people are buying.

All in all, it’s understandable that Facebook wants to pivot into finance and crypto. But changing hearts and minds will not be easy to do.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.

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Source: https://bitcoinist.com/the-head-of-diem-wants-you-to-trust-facebook-but-is-he-fighting-a-losing-battle/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-head-of-diem-wants-you-to-trust-facebook-but-is-he-fighting-a-losing-battle

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