U.S. Department of the Treasure Calls for Global Crypto Regulation

The U.S. Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence called on the international community for cryptocurrency regulations in order to protect the financial system  
14 February 2018   71

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasure’ statement, Sigal Mandelker, the Under Secretary, told the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference that terrorists and others use cryptocurrencies to "exploit the financial system”.

Sigal Mandelker stated that there is a lack of international regulation of cryptocurrencies.

The lack of AML/CFT regulation of virtual currency providers worldwide greatly exacerbates virtual currencies' illicit financing risks. Currently, we are one of the only major countries in the world, along with Japan and Australia, that regulate these activities for AML/CFT purposes. But we need many more countries to follow suit and have made this a priority in our international outreach.

Sigal Mandelker

Under Secretary of Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

She went on telling about cybercriminals, computer hacking and ransomware, fraud, identity theft, tax refund schemes, public corruption and drug trafficking.

Sigal Mandelker encouraged regulators to "supercharge" their efforts to prevent financial crime and protect national security. She believes that companies must take measures in order to prevent money laundering.

First real-life cryptocurrency robbery reported in Taiwan

Four men stole 5 million Taiwanese dollar worth of Bitcoin, the police has already arrested the suspects
22 February 2018   57

Bitcoin has attracted lots of unwanted attention from hackers and scammers alike. Recently not a week passes without news of an exchange or user being hacked or some company's computers being hijacked to mine cryptocurrency. And now Taiwanese news outlets report first real-life robbery of Bitcoin in their country.

The robbery took place in Taichung, Taiwan's central city. The police reports three men being involved in the robbery itself and one as a planner. Criminals persuaded the victim to meet with them face-to-face under the guise of being interested in buying Bitcoin from him. After the victim showed the robbers the proof of his bitcoins on his phone, the men attacked him and his friend and transferred 18 bitcoins worth 5 million Taiwanese dollar via the phone wallet.

The suspects then forced the unfortunate seller to drink strong local liquor to make everything look like a drunken fight had taken place. The police arrived at the scene after receiving the reports of a fight and found two victims. Two of the offenders had fled, but the third has been arrested at the scene of the crime. He later provided investigation with information about his accomplices. They were arrested soon after.

The police later apprehended the man believed to be the mastermind behind the plan. All this was released in the yesterday's report by the Taiwanese law enforcement and the case is already viewed as “the first domestic case of bitcoin robbery”. The report doesn't mention if the crypto was returned to the rightful owner.

Similar cases has been rumored to happen in the US, but no records are released as of yet. So the unofficial governmental advice is to be more cautious of the buyers requesting face to face meetings in the light of this event.