NSA Tracks BTC Users, Snowden Says

According to the documents from former NSA agent, BTC transaction monitoring is one of the main priorities of the agency
21 March 2018   1650

The US National Security Agency monitors actions in the bitcoin blovkchain in order to identify users of crypto currency. This is reported by The Intercept, which received a set of documents from a former employee of the NSA Edward Snowden, according to which the monitoring of BTC transactions is one of the main priorities of the agency.

They also say that the work of the NSA in this direction may not be limited to analyzing the blockchain and include the detection of crypto users.

The published document indicates that the NSA has become more likely to collect passwords of bitcoin users, data about their activity on the Internet and the identity of their devices.

According to the report, the NSA monitors bitcoin users from 2013 through a program code-named OAKSTAR, as well as the MONKEYROCKET program, which is the OAKSTAR project. The data collected over the years can allow the NSA to accurately identify participants in crypto-currency transactions.

For information on bitcoin users, the NSA can use XKeyScore, a powerful system for monitoring Internet activity, which became known in 2013, when Snowden revealed information about the surveillance of the NSA.

The document says that the information collected by the Agency is stored in the file "Provider user full.csv", and details of identification of time stamps and Internet addresses of users for the purpose of determining their location are given.

Israeli BTC Investors to Face Catch 22

They need to pay taxes from Bitcoin investing in order to avoid their property arrest, but banks don't take their money due to AML issues
06 August 2019   188

Bitcoin investors in Israel are faced with the impossibility of paying taxes, as local banks refuse to accept funds received from the sale of cryptocurrencies because of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. About this writes the local edition of Haaretz on August 6.

Bitcoin is not recognized as a currency in Israel, therefore, individuals must pay 25% of the income from cryptocurrency trading to the treasury, and legal entities - 47%.

Investor Ron Gross told the publication that he acquired bitcoins in 2011 and reported his income to the tax office. In 2017, the bank that served Gross began to refuse to accept funds received from the sale of bitcoins. The investor met with representatives of the bank to demonstrate to them a 70-page history of bitcoin transactions as confirmation of the origin of the funds, but failed to convince them.

The tax authority is aware of the problem, but they say the ball isn’t in their courts. I’ve tried working with almost all the banks, but the minute they hear the word ‘Bitcoin’ they freeze up.
 

Ron Gross

Bitcoin investor from Israel

 

Since Gross was unable to pay taxes on time, his bank account, home, and even scooters were arrested. According to the investor, the tax authorities know about the problem, but can do nothing.

According to Haaretz, the tax office is aware of $ 86 million in unpaid taxes on income from cryptocurrency trading. It is possible that the real amount may be significantly higher.

Roy Arav, another Bitcoin investor, kept the proceeds from trading Bitcoin in an account with Israeli bank Discount under the control of the Bit2C exchange. The bank refuses to transfer money to Arava’s personal account under the pretext that its politicians forbid it to transfer funds related to virtual assets to client accounts due to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Arav also could not pay taxes and was forced to sue the bank. According to the investor, the authorities entered his position and granted him a deferral of time for the consideration of the claim.