Bitcoin Daily: New Zealand Seizes $90M In Bitcoin Fraud Case; BlackBerry, Intel Team Against Cryptomining Malware

Bitcoin Daily: FCA To Require Cryptoasset Business Register; Neufund To Focus On New Product Development, Shift Away from Token Offerings; BlackBerry, Intel Team Against Crypto-mining Malware

New Zealand police have frozen $90 million they say belongs to alleged bitcoin scammer Alexander Vinnik in what’s being called the country’s largest money seizure ever.

Vinnik, who’s currently held in France but wanted in the United States and his native Russia, allegedly laundered billions of dollars through BTC-e, one of the world’s largest digital currency trading exchange, the Associated Press reported Monday (June 22).

“New Zealand Police has worked closely with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States to address this very serious offending,” New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in a statement. “These funds are likely to reflect the profit gained from the victimization of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people globally as a result of cybercrime and organized crime.”

Vinnik has denied the allegations, saying he was merely a consultant to the BTC-e platform and unaware of any illegal activity, according to the AP.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is requiring cryptoasset companies in Britain to register with the body in order to follow new rules, according to an announcement.

The FCA noted that it transitioned into the role of counter terrorist financing/anti-money laundering supervisor of companies that engage in “certain cryptoasset activities” in Britain on Jan. 10 of this year. It noted that the body mandates companies send in finished applications by June 30 to make sure that applications are handled on schedule, pointing out that the date lets the agency look over applications and bring up follow-up inquiries with the companies.

In other news, Neufund said it arrived at the decision to shelve its equity token offering product and halt fundraising efforts to come, according to an announcement.

The company, however, said it is “committed to dedicating all our time and resources to focus on new product development.” It also claimed that all of those who hold tokens — FTH, GRP and NEU — “can be sure the platform will be maintained, all money and assets are safe.” The organization claimed it had the “first-ever” equity token offering two calendar years ago and held the globe’s “first” blockchain initial public offering (IPO) last year.

And, BlackBerry Limited unveiled in an announcement the release of BlackBerry Optics v2.5.1100, which comes with technology to discover cryptojacking and cryptomining on commercial computers based on Intel.

Cryptojacking occurs when malware is put onto a device to take computing power to mine digital currency and the user doesn’t know the activity is taking place. BlackBerry Optics Context Analysis Engine (CAE)’s harnesses Intel Threat Detection Technology’s “unique CPU telemetry” to find advanced cryptojacking programs. The firm said organizations can find and alleviate cryptojacking “with greater precision and consistent results across all types of workloads executing on Windows 10 operating systems.”


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.