A New York woman has pleaded guilty and faces up to 20 years in prison for helping ISIS by carrying out an elaborate scam involving bank fraud, cryptocurrencies and money laundering.
According to CNBC, Zoobia Shahnaz of Brentwood, Long Island admitted to wiring more than $150,000 last year to individuals and shell entities that were fronts for ISIS in Pakistan, China and Turkey. She will be sentenced on a charge of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
In other news, bitcoin miners might start looking for another line of work.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the bitcoin network’s hash rate dropped about 24 percent from an all-time high at the end of August.
“This suggests that prices have declined to a point where mining is becoming uneconomical for some,” JPMorgan strategists wrote in a Friday report.
Miners perform the computations to confirm transactions in the cryptocurrency, and are paid for their work with bitcoins. If prices drop below their break-even costs, miners may be forced to close shop or they could be operating at a loss.
The break-even cost to mine a single bitcoin was estimated to be around $7,000 in a recent report. But the largest digital token fell about 80 percent from its December peak, and now stands at $3,742, while the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index plunged to a 14-month low.
And the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that it had investigated 50 firms suspected of providing financial services without the regulator’s permission. In addition, it received seven reports from concerned employees of crypto businesses this year.
“The huge sums lost as a result of cryptocurrency prices falling this year will have triggered a rash of complaints to the FCA,” Andrew Jacobs, a partner at Moore Stephens, an accountancy firm, said, according to The Telegraph. “Now that prices have collapsed, fraud is likely to be exposed, with greater pressure coming to bear on the FCA to ensure that this market can operate transparently and fairly.”