Tag: Crypto Laundering

Was The AMC FTX Token a Scam to Launder Money?

Sam Bankman-Fried | Crypto News: AMC FTX Token a scam?
Sam Bankman-Fried | Crypto News: AMC FTX Token a scam?

There are no signs of AMC Entertainment signing an agreement to the AMC FTX Token listed on the FTX crypto exchange.

When viewing the terms of service and terms of the tokenized stock product (AMC), users are prompted to error pages.

The AMC FTX token is also showing as an ‘invalid symbol’ on the platform with no live chart as we’ve seen in the past.

The tokenized stock was trading at $4 (USD) but has lost all its value since the company collapsed and filed for bankruptcy.

Retail investors are digging deep and are concluding that the crypto exchange could have potentially been using these tokens to launder money.

The FTX scandal only goes deeper into the rabbit hole.

Let’s discuss what happened.

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FTX Scandal: What Went Wrong?

What happened to FTX? FTX Scandal
What happened to FTX? FTX scandal | Crypto News.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 11, 2022, after the company’s valuation dropped from $32 billion to bankruptcy in only a matter of days.

The collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange dragged founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s $16 billion net worth to near-zero.

FTX was responsible for dropping the crypto industry below $1 trillion.

On November 16, a class-action lawsuit was filed in a Florida federal court, alleging that Sam Bankman-Fried created a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme designed to take advantage of unsophisticated investors from across the country.

Which celebrities were affected by FTX?

Steph Curry FTX
Steph Curry FTX promotion | Celebrities affected by FTX crypto scandal.

Celebrities named in the lawsuit include Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, Shohei Ohtani, Naomi Osaka, Larry David, and Kevin O’Leary who allegedly helped Bankman-Fried promote the exchange.

FTX became one of the largest crypto exchanges in just three years with a valuation of $32 billion.

Bankman-Fried used aggressive marketing, including a Super Bowl ad campaign, and the purchase of naming rights to the home of the Miami Heat basketball team.

He became known for his political lobbying and donations as well as for working to support the cryptocurrency industry more broadly.

As values plunged in early 2022, he facilitated deals totaling about $1 billion to bail out cryptocurrency companies struggling as a result of the declines in token prices.

Conflict of Interest Created Mass Selloff in FTX

How did Binance play a role in FTX collapse? Binance FTX news.
How did Binance play a role in FTX collapse? Binance FTX news.

FTX’s collapse took place over a 10-day period in Nov. 2022.

The catalyst for the crisis was a Nov. 2 scoop by CoinDesk that revealed that Alameda Research, the quant trading firm also run by Bankman-Fried, held a position worth $5 billion in FTT, the native token of FTX.

The report revealed that Alameda’s investment foundation was also in FTT, the token that its sister company had invented, not a¬†fiat currency¬†or other cryptocurrency.

That prompted concern across the cryptocurrency industry regarding SBF’s companies’ undisclosed leverage and possession of assets.

Here’s when things really started going downhill for FTX.

Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, announced on Nov. 6 that it would¬†sell its entire position in FTT tokens, roughly 23 million FTT tokens worth about $529 million.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said the decision to liquidate the exchange’s FTT position was based on risk management, following the¬†collapse of the Terra (LUNA)¬†crypto token earlier in 2022.

By the next day, FTX was experiencing a liquidity crisis.

Bankman-Fried attempted to reassure FTX investors that its assets were stable, but customers demanded withdrawals worth $6 billion in the days immediately following the CoinDesk report.

Bankman-Fried searched for additional money from venture capitalists before turning to Binance.

The value of FTT fell by 80% in two days.

Sources: Investopedia.

FTX: A Pyramid Scheme Created from Mass Marketing?

FTX Pyramid Scheme
Was FTX a pyramid scheme? Crypto news and more.

Within hours of filing for bankruptcy, FTX was hacked.

The exchange noted that ‘unauthorized transactions’ close to half a billion dollars in total were stollen from several wallets during a period of days.

Since the incident, regulators of the Bahamas have frozen FTX’s assets, and the company has strongly advised against customer deposits.

What’s occurred with FTX is an ongoing investigation and lawsuit against now ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

So, was FTX just a scam to laundering money through the use of unauthorized stock tokens and covered by the hack that occurred?

Or was this just a poorly managed incident that occurred without motive?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Leave a comment down below.

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Crypto Laundering 101: Easy Tips to Protect Yourself

Everything you need to know about crypto laundering and how to protect yourself
Everything you need to know about crypto laundering and how to protect yourself

Published by FrankNez Team.

The digital currency has been used to evade taxes for a while now.

The growth of blockchain technology has aided the adoption of virtual currencies and other kinds of crypto assets.

Digital currencies, which were obtained by crypto algorithms and were distributed without the need for a national financial authority, have upended traditional currencies and are actively transacted on trade platforms across the world.

However, the unsettling prevalence of digital money has also increased the opportunity for criminals to exploit the technology and execute crypto laundering, eluding the conventional AML (anti-money laundering).

Read more to know everything you need to be aware of to protect yourself.

Crypto Laundering

Due to the privacy, they offer and the speed at which they may be exchanged between customers through trades, digital currencies present an enticing opportunity to crypto launderers.

Money laundering involving government-issued currency enables consumers to open accounts with banks by providing personal information.

They then use the banks’ foundation to manage exchanges, moving illegal assets into and out of the banking system while trying to conceal their reference point.

Contrarily, clients of digital money exchanges engaged in crypto laundering are not applied to reveal themselves in about the same way or use a targeted financial framework to transfer their assets.

Digital currency exchanges take place directly between merchants and receivers anywhere without the need for verification by a central system or third-party organization and only require the distinctive address of the clients’ crypto wallets.

In essence, there is no secure documentation of digital currency trades other than a blockchain record that has been obtained using crypto.

Cybercriminals actually profit from the secrecy and speed attributed to the internet-based relocation of assets, despite the fact that digital money trade platforms include a sort of client identification and record-keeping. Administrative principles for these platforms are conflicting and frequently insufficient.

Since digital currency exchanges are discreet, crypto launderers can also transfer greater sums of illicit assets in and out of the banking system rapidly, frequently surpassing the AML projections made by experts.

red flags of crypto laundering

Red Flags of Crypto Laundering

Crypto laundering is unethical.

Considering the absence of government guidelines on this matter, many national authorities relied on existing regulations and established statistical models to identify cases of crypto laundering.

Several red flags of crypto laundering are listed below:

(1) Moving cryptocurrency to wallets in poorly regulated places; (2) Loads of high financial transactions occurring quickly; (3) Bitcoin or other exchanges totaling amounts that are just below the value that would prompt disclosure requirements; (4) New accounts subsidized with an amount that is quickly removed; (5) Exchanges with various crypto on numerous accounts; (6) Transfers from unregulated domains with weak AML and KYC policies; (7) Single wallet associated to several credit card accounts with multiple identities; or single wallet involved in multiple ledgers.

The aforementioned red flags should be taken into account by anyone wishing to invest in companies that manage digital currencies, by enforcement agencies monitoring particular persons and elements, and during AML surveys inside crypto expert co-ops.

Additionally, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released a report on indicators of crypto laundering that is designed to aid cryptocurrency wallets and trade groups as well as investment advisors.

To avoid becoming a victim of crypto laundering, make sure to trade on the right platform and seek experts for trading advice.

There are several linking platforms available such as Bitcoin Up.

This platform links novice investors to credible brokers to equip them with proper knowledge about investing and trading.

With this broker connection, investors can benefit from bearish markets and grow their low-cost investments.

AML Regulation

Although crypto laundering is still a somewhat new activity, worldwide regulators have been making every effort to provide specialized crypto AML protections.

The Anti-Money Laundering Directives (AMLD) in the EU, for example, expand the scope of AML tracking and commitments to digital currency exchanges.

Recent recommendations for specific KYC AML measures for firms that specialize in digital money have been made by FinCEN in the US.

With the impending release of new regulations, crypto exchanges and other financial companies should evaluate the efficacy of their AML plans as well as how consistently they handle the administration of digital currencies.

Citing FATF guidelines, organizations should try to enforce a gambling-based digital currency AML compliance plan, emphasizing the following set of controls:

Consumer Conduct

Crypto specialist cooperatives should precisely lay out and assess their clients’ personalities. Utilizing digital verification techniques, such as surveys of authentic records, or biometric identification like fingerprints, facial, or voice recognition, may be crucial in a crypto administrative framework.

Trade Evaluation

Organizations should have the option to analyze clients’ crypto exchanges for unusual behavior and cautions.

Given the outstanding digital activity surrounding crypto exchanges, organizations should attempt to construct computerized checking innovations to capture crucial information.

PEP Monitoring

Compared to other clients, politically exposed persons (PEP) present a considerable AML risk.

Crypto companies should routinely check their clients to determine their PEP status and reveal their AML risk levels.

Assessment of Restrictions

People listed on the global restrictions list may use crypto laundering to evade international pressure regulations.

In the proper manner, crypto-specialized firms should check their clients’ sanctions against significant international records.

Related: List of 4 Best Crypto Exchanges for Beginners

Blockchain Technology: A Counter to Crypto Laundering

Blockchain technology controls crypto trades.

The notion that blockchain is an “immovable database”‚ÄĒa ledger that cannot be modified is one of the key factors influencing safety inside crypto-asset exchanges.

Each “block” has records for all trading chains, which can be contrasted against records from other blocks to spot discrepancies.

This suggests that all of the data stored within the blockchain is credible and valid.

The crypto wallet IDs that are the source of every exchange are listed in this immovable database.

In the unlikely event that illegal trade is linked back to a wallet, the wallet can be used to verify the owner, stopping any fraudulent practices by legal means.

Several blockchain innovations take automated AML scam detection into account, setting restrictions that would prevent or alert users to suspect exchanges before they take place.

Authorities should later clarify that these conditions must be met in order for financial organizations and crypto-asset institutions to function.

There are already systems based on the blockchain to ensure a safer environment for digital currency trading.

By working jointly with these firms, crypto organizations and financial foundations may keep their exchanges secure and reliable.

Conclusion

As cybercriminals seek to abuse emerging technologies for monetary benefit, crypto laundering is becoming a challenging problem for enforcement agencies.

Cybercriminals are lured to the digital currency, Bitcoin, since it is convenient and helpful to transfer virtual money, because these exchanges are exceedingly hard to locate, and because there are no clear rules governing crypto.

Considerable protection for consumers, organizations, and authorities can be obtained by understanding warnings.

In actuality, in light of explicit warnings, the legal system has been very vigilant in its investigation of cases reported of crypto laundering.

Related: How to Invest in Cryptocurrency for Beginners

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