Home Crypto Bitcoin Bitcoin: USD/BTC (BTC=X) money laundering is a classically stupid crime

Bitcoin: USD/BTC (BTC=X) money laundering is a classically stupid crime


Bitcoin: USD/BTC (BTC=X) money laundering is a classically stupid crime

Laundering money through bitcoin is a bad idea—not only because it’s illegal, but also because it leaves a permanent trail. Defendants have repeatedly been undone because they’ve relied on the cryptocurrency for some part of their nefarious activities. Sometimes, they’ve been arrested years after their alleged crimes.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it’s estimated that 2% to 5% of the global GDP—or $800 billion to $2 trillion—is laundered each year, much of it in cash. But over the last few years, with cryptocurrencies growing in prominence and price, they’ve become a popular option, too. Government agencies have started contracting crypto-analytics firms like Chainalysis and CipherTrace to track down money launderers and other criminals.

“Cryptocurrencies have the reputation for being cross-border and anonymous, and therefore attractive to bad actors across the world,” Kim Grauer, senior economist for Chainalysis, explained to Quartz over email. “But because transactions involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are recorded on a permanent, public, and immutable ledger, cryptocurrencies can actually offer unprecedented transparency into financial transactions.”

Laundering money through bitcoin is like pulling off a jewelry heist, but leaving a map to your apartment at the scene of the crime. You can shred the map into tiny pieces—by sending bitcoin through multiple wallet addresses, or accounts, to hide your tracks—but with sufficient time and data-crunching power, it’s possible for other people to reassemble the clues.

What cryptocurrencies save in time (versus say, buying and selling bars of gold) they lose in efficacy. When it comes to financial crime, the vast majority of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether, are blunt instruments.

“The goal of money laundering is to create a chain of transactions that can’t be traced, so since the bitcoin blockchain is designed to have an indelible public record of all transactions, it makes ‘laundering’ much more difficult,” Dave Weisberger, CEO of CoinRoutes, a crypto order-routing service, said. “The technology from [blockchain analytics] firms such as Elliptic and Chainanalysis is sophisticated as well. They can trace [wallet] addresses quite well, which also make law enforcement easier.”

That’s part of why the arrest of a crypto expert last week is confounding. Virgil Griffith, a special projects researcher for the Ethereum Foundation, was detained last week in Los Angeles. The US accuses him of traveling to North Korea earlier this year “in order [to] deliver a presentation and technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions.”

Regardless of whether Griffith is innocent or guilty, what he’s accused of is, well, dumb. Is it possible to launder money and evade US sanctions using cryptocurrencies? Yes. Is it advisable, or even practical? Hell no. Crypto’s limited trading volumes, traceability, and storage risk affect everybody.

Reuters additionally reported that Griffith may have planned to send mining equipment to North Korea, ostensibly so the government or others could generate their own ether. Apparently he called the idea “cool.” But again—regardless of whether a crime was committed—it’s laughably unrealistic at scale, and anybody who got within 100 miles of North Korean bitcoin would put themselves on the blockchain (and watchlists) forever.

Technical Indicators

Overall, the bias in prices is: Downwards.

Note: this chart shows extraordinary price action to the downside.

By the way, prices are vulnerable to a correction towards 8,234.57.

The projected upper bound is: 8,180.42.

The projected lower bound is: 6,524.52.

The projected closing price is: 7,352.47.


A black body occurred (because prices closed lower than they opened).
During the past 10 bars, there have been 4 white candles and 6 black candles for a net of 2 black candles. During the past 50 bars, there have been 17 white candles and 33 black candles for a net of 16 black candles.

Momentum Indicators

Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices move over a given time period. Generally, changes in momentum tend to lead to changes in prices. This expert shows the current values of four popular momentum indicators.

Stochastic Oscillator

One method of interpreting the Stochastic Oscillator is looking for overbought areas (above 80) and oversold areas (below 20). The Stochastic Oscillator is 37.2763. This is not an overbought or oversold reading. The last signal was a sell 5 period(s) ago.

Relative Strength Index (RSI)

The RSI shows overbought (above 70) and oversold (below 30) areas. The current value of the RSI is 39.86. This is not a topping or bottoming area. A buy or sell signal is generated when the RSI moves out of an overbought/oversold area. The last signal was a buy 9 period(s) ago.

Commodity Channel Index (CCI)

The CCI shows overbought (above 100) and oversold (below -100) areas. The current value of the CCI is 20. This is not a topping or bottoming area. The last signal was a buy 10 period(s) ago.


The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence indicator (MACD) gives signals when it crosses its 9 period signal line. The last signal was a buy 7 period(s) ago.

Rex Takasugi – TD Profile

FOREX BTC= closed down -19.470 at 7,366.030. Volume was 62% below average (consolidating) and Bollinger Bands were 20% narrower than normal.

Open     High      Low     Close     Volume___
7,372.0007,490.7007,229.7807,366.030 30,498
Technical Outlook 
Short Term: Neutral
Intermediate Term: Bearish
Long Term: Bearish
Moving Averages: 10-period     50-period     200-period
Close: 7,431.68 8,285.11 9,390.79
Volatility: 46 65 75
Volume: 89,871 79,647 85,682

Short-term traders should pay closer attention to buy/sell arrows while intermediate/long-term traders should place greater emphasis on the Bullish or Bearish trend reflected in the lower ribbon.


FOREX BTC= is currently 21.6% below its 200-period moving average and is in an downward trend. Volatility is relatively normal as compared to the average volatility over the last 10 periods. Our volume indicators reflect volume flowing into and out of BTC= at a relatively equal pace (neutral). Our trend forecasting oscillators are currently bearish on BTC= and have had this outlook for the last 22 periods.

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