Authorities will regret the chain reaction that they are starting with a decision to shutdown a major bitcoin mixer, Emin Gün Sirer, a Cornell University crypto professor who’s launching his own coin, estimated.
The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), in cooperation with Europol and the authorities in Luxembourg, clamped down on one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency mixing service Bestmixer.io, Europol announced on Wednesday.
“This minor shutdown will have major ramifications. This kind of shutdown creates selective pressure for tumblers that cannot be shutdown. And we know, from the research world, that it’s possible to build much better ones,” the professor reacted on Twitter.
Coin mixers are a service used by cryptocurrency owners in order to enhance the privacy and anonymity of the digital currency transactions. This is a service that is offered by third parties and is also referred to as coin tumbling. Read more about it here.
Meanwhile, according to Europol, the investigation resulted in the seizure of six servers in the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
“Bestmixer.io was one of the three largest mixing services for cryptocurrencies and offered services for mixing the cryptocurrencies bitcoins, bitcoin cash and litecoins. The service started in May 2018 and achieved a turnover of at least USD 200 million (approx. 27,000 bitcoins) in a year’s time and guaranteed that the customers would remain anonymous,” the authorities said, adding that the investigation so far into this case has shown that many of the mixed cryptocurrencies on Bestmixer.io had a criminal origin or destination.
Moreover, authorities will analyze all the information gathered on this platform in the past year: IP-addresses, transaction details, bitcoin addresses and chat messages.