Officials Arrest US Resident for Allegedly Laundering Drug Proceeds With Crypto

The U.S. arrested an alleged money launderer Tuesday on accusations of using cryptocurrencies and cashier’s checks to obfuscate the origins of funds related to drug running. First noted by George Washington University’s Seamus Hughes, the complaint, unsealed Wednesday, charges Pedro Antonio Aquino-Eufracia with conspiracy for allegedly participating in a drug cartel, laundering funds using a combination of cashier’s checks and cryptocurrencies. According to the filing, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Drew Gizzi alleged Aquino-Eufracia was part of “a large-scale, international Money Laundering Organization” (MLO), with individuals based in…

Never Mind Hodlers, Crypto Needs More Opportunist Investors

Jeff Dorman, a CoinDesk columnist, is Chief Investment Officer at Arca where he leads the investment committee and is responsible for portfolio sizing and risk management. He has more than 17 years of trading and asset management experience at firms such as Merrill Lynch and Citadel Securities. Carl Icahn is famous for moving in and out of asset classes. This is quite different than how most asset managers and professional investors invest, who are generally locked into an asset class based on specific mandate, and are therefore forced to try to…

Norwegian Air Could Allow Customers to Pay for Flights in Crypto This Spring

Travelers on Norwegian Air, one of the largest airlines in Europe, will soon be able to pay for flights using cryptocurrency. In an interview with a local business newspaper, CEO of Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) Stig Kjos-Mathisen said his crypto trading platform had successfully developed payment infrastructure that will allow customers on Norwegian Air to purchase tickets with digital assets. “Everything is ready to go from our side”, Kjos-Mathisen said the interview. NBX aims to roll out the new feature to Norwegian customers sometime later this year, and possibly as early…

Brazilian Central Bank Promises Instant Payment Platform to Compete With Crypto

The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) has announced a plan to launch a new near-instant payment system during November. The platform, called the Brazilian Instant Payment Scheme (PIX), will facilitate peer-to-peer and business-to-business transactions in 10 seconds or less via mobile phone, internet banking, or select ATMs.  According to a press release published Feb. 20, It is mandatory for all financial and payment institutions licenced by the BCB to provide their 500,000 active customer accounts with the functionalities required to facilitate PIX transfers. The release states that transactions will be…

Crypto Accused of Facilitating Illegal Gambling — What Are the Odds?

Last week, a report claimed that cryptocurrency-based illegal gambling has surged in many parts of Asia owing to the rise of this novel asset class in recent years. In this regard, the article further added that over the course of the last five years or so, betting amounts have become substantially larger, partly because of traditional payment methods being replaced by cryptocurrencies.  From a more technical standpoint, a research study released by Transparency International, a nongovernment organization based in Berlin, Asia’s illicit gambling market was found to be worth a…

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse Tells Banks That ‘Crypto Is Not a Bad Word’

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s mission is to demolish bankers’ fear of cryptocurrencies and get them on board with the new asset class. During a recent interview with CNN, Garlinghouse explained that “once regulators understand you’re not circumventing regulatory frameworks they get very comfortable very quickly.” Garlinghouse said that someone at the World Economic Forum in Davos told him that “crypto is still a bad word here.” Because of this attitude in traditional finance, a big part of his work is explaining to bankers how crypto can solve real-world problems while…

Dutch Authorities Arrest Two Men for Alleged Crypto Money Laundering

The Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested two men for allegedly laundering money with cryptocurrencies. According to a statement released by the International Revenue Service on Feb. 18, the two men were arrested on Feb. 17 in connection to two separate criminal investigations into money laundering using cryptocurrencies. Both investigations were led by the National Office for Serious Fraud, Environmental Crime and Asset Confiscation. The money trail One of the suspects was a 45-year-old man who is accused of laundering 2.1 million euros. He purportedly used large…

Dutch Authorities Arrest 2 in Million-Euro Crypto Money Laundering Investigations

Dutch tax enforcers with the Netherlands’ Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Services (FIOD) arrested two men Monday for allegedly laundering millions of euros in cryptocurrency, according to a joint statement by the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5). FIOD arrested the Dutch nationals in separate crypto tax evasion investigations, recovering about 260,000 in unnamed cryptocurrencies and more than 6.6 pounds of gold. Credit and debit cards holding crypto and euros were also seized, among other items. One of the suspects is alleged to have used the defunct bitcoin mixing service…

Israeli Banks Should Not Deny Services to Crypto Firms: Attorney General

Israeli banks should not deny services to firms involved with cryptocurrencies, according to Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit. Instead of halting financial services for all crypto firms, banks should closely examine each case for indicators of money laundering risks or other illicit financial practices, Mandelblit told the Tel Aviv District Court. Mandelblit’s stance purportedly opposed to a position by Israeli central bank Mandelblit’s stance — reported by Israeli news agency Globes on Feb. 19. —  is in opposition to the view of the country’s central bank, the Bank of Israel.…

Coinbase and Visa Team Up to Expand Crypto Cards

Coinbase has announced that it is now a Visa principal member, the first crypto company to gain membership. The exchange can now offer more services to current Coinbase Card customers, as well as extend service to a larger number of countries. Though Coinbase has not announced any concrete plans for the immediate future, its options have opened up, according to an announcement published by the crypto exchange company on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Coinbase additionally has the power to issue cards on behalf of other firms and companies, according to a…