the United States Sanctions a Cryptocurrency “Mixer” for the First Time

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The United States imposed Friday, May 6 “ for the first time “financial penalties to a” cryptocurrency mixer ”, a sophisticated service accused of involvement in virtual money laundering by North Korea. This “blender”, Blender.io, is accused by the US Treasury of helping to launder part of the loot of the “ biggest crypto heist to the world – the theft at the end of March of 620 million dollars attributed by the American authorities to a group of hackers linked to Pyongyang.

Virtual Currency Mixers That Promote Illegal Transactions Pose a National Security Threat to the United States said Undersecretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson in a statement. According to the US Treasury, Blender was used in laundering more than $20.5 million of the $620 million stolen.

Blender, which is also the English name for a kitchen blender, is a service that facilitates the laundering of funds extorted by hackers. by blurring the cards on their origin, destination and counterparties “, according to the Treasury.

Under cover of increased discretion “, he ” mixes “virtual money from illicit transactions with other anonymous cryptocurrencies before “ transmit to their final recipients “, and is therefore as such ” often used by outlaws, adds the US Department of Treasury, which points out that Blender has helped transfer more than $500 million in Bitcoin since its inception in 2017.

We are taking action against North Korea’s illegal financial activities and will not leave the thefts supported by this state and its money launderers unaddressed. “, he warned.

Beyond that, it is a clear warning that is addressed to the North Korean power, at a time when it is increasing the missile tests denounced by the United States as so many ” Provocation in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Read also: Two South Koreans accused of spying for Pyongyang arrested

In order to circumvent harsh UN and US sanctions, North Korea has turned to stealing funds from cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain-based companies to generate revenue for its illegal weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs “said the head of the american diplomacy Antony Blinken in a press release. However, the Secretary of State once again recalls the outstretched hand of Washington, which continues to reiterate its calls for dialogue with Pyongyang, which have remained unanswered since the arrival of President Joe Biden at the White House in early 2021.

In mid-April, US federal police accused the Lazarus group and APT38, hackers “associated” with the reclusive East Asian regime, of being responsible for the theft of $620 million in ethereum that followed the hack. Axie Infinity video game at the end of March. The Ronin network, used for this online game, had been the victim of one of the biggest computer attacks involving cryptocurrencies.

► Read also – Cryptocurrency fraud: $ 600 million stolen from Asian players

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game, a decentralized digital ledger that cannot be changed. It allows you to earn money in the form of NFTs, digital tokens.

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