Last year, the Treasury Department sanctioned cryptocurrency mixer Blender for enabling North Korea’s state-sponsored hacking group to launder tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen crypto. But now it looks like Blender has relaunched under the name Sinbad.
Mixers—also called tumblers—obscure the links between bitcoin addresses, helping to protect users’ privacy. But they pose a challenge to anti-money laundering efforts.
What is a Bitcoin Mixer?
A bitcoin mixer is a service that helps users improve the privacy of their cryptocurrency transactions. It combines funds from multiple users by mixing them with other coins, obscuring the original sender and recipient addresses in the process. The mixer then returns the newly mixed coins to the original users’ wallets.
The concept behind a bitcoin mixer is simple. The first step is to deposit your coins into the mixer’s pool or combined pot. The mixer then shuffles these coins around, creating a new set of addresses for the recipients. This essentially breaks the link between the initial transfer and the final recipient, making it difficult to trace.
When choosing a bitcoin mixer, it’s important to look for one that offers multiple features. For example, it should support a variety of wallets and use advanced encryption techniques to ensure the safety of your data. Additionally, it should offer randomized transaction delays to prevent pattern recognition and increase the anonymity of your transactions.
Moreover, you should also look for a bitcoin mixer that does not have a single point of failure, as this would make it easy for hackers to track your transactions. In addition, a good bitcoin mixer should be transparent and have a clear set of terms and conditions. This will help you avoid any conflicts of interest and protect yourself from potential scams.
Despite their legitimate privacy uses, mixers are popular among thieves. When crooks steal crypto from wallets, they can use mixers to obfuscate the origin of their stolen digital funds. This allows them to move the money to its final destination without Uncle Sam noticing.
Today, the US Treasury publicly sanctioned Blender for helping North Korea’s Lazarus Group gang launder $500 million in virtual currency. In doing so, it fingered the gang’s getaway wallet address.
As a result of the sanctions, Americans and anyone in the US doing business with Blender will be barred from using the service. This includes registering for an account and sending funds to it. bitcoin blender