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Border agents took more than 1,000 migrants into custody near El Paso, Texas, after they crossed into the US illegally Wednesday, officials say—the largest group ever encountered by the Border Patrol, per NBC . More immigrants have been traveling in large groups recently, advocates say, for safety. Medical teams…
The chief of staff of Venezuela’s Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly, has been detained in an overnight raid by the nation’s intelligence agency, a Guaido spokesman said Thursday.
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What looked like a shipment of speakers leaving for Australia contained so much more—a record-high 1.7 tons of methamphetamine, ABC News reports. Customs and Border Protection also uncovered nearly 60 pounds of cocaine and 11.5 pounds of heroin in the Jan. 11 seizure at Los Angeles/Long Beach…
Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage was taken into federal immigration custody early Sunday, authorities said. The artist, whose given name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested in a targeted operation in the Atlanta area involving local and federal law enforcement officers, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox said…
In this edition of The Daily, a leading Grin developer has received donations worth $ 26,000 to fund his work on the project. Also, research group Bellingcat has tracked a BTC transaction allegedly made by Russian agents meddling in U.S. elections, and stablecoin paxos has reached $ 10 billion in transactions.
Grin Developer Receives Donations Worth $ 26,000
A campaign to raise funds for the development of privacy-centric coin Grin is halfway towards its target. A dedicated page on the project’s website shows that €22,530 (approx. $ 26,000) of the targeted €55,000 ($ 63,000) has been collected in crypto already.
As of Feb. 1, 3.4 BTC, 134.14 ETH and 7 GRIN have been donated. The money will be used to finance the work of Grin’s developer Michael Cordner, also known as ‘Yeastplume.’ Cordner has been an active contributor since May 2017 and the Grin project has been his full-time job since February of last year. Yeastplume also states:
I hope my performance so far has been satisfactory to the community as well as beneficial to Grin and Mimblewimble development … I’m happy to make myself known partly for funding transparency reasons, and partly because I’m happy to take on some of the public-facing tasks that will inevitably come up as Grin evolves.
Michael Cordner further shares information about what the previous funds have been used for, as well as his future development plans. He also notes that once the funding goal is reached, the crypto amounts will be cashed out into euros. The money is expected to finance his efforts in the development of the coin until August 2019.
Grin is one of two cryptocurrencies based on Mimblewimble that were launched this year, with Beam being the first. The protocol was originally developed in 2016 to improve the scalability of the Bitcoin network and provide enhanced privacy for its users.
Bellingcat Claims to Have Tracked BTC Sent by GRU
Research group Bellingcat has reportedly tracked a 0.026043 BTC transaction from Feb. 1, 2016 that, according to Robert Mueller, special counsel of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, is related to the activities of agents of Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency GRU as well as the hacking of the DNC servers.
Despite noting that in recent years cryptocurrencies have been used by “bad actors,” the authors of the report admit many people utilize them for legitimate purposes and that the Bitcoin blockchain “cuts down on anonymity with regard to cryptocurrency use.” That allowed Bellingcat to track down the transaction mentioned in the Mueller indictment of 12 alleged Russian GRU agents from July 2018.
Using a block explorer, the researchers found that the first block containing a transaction for that amount was on Feb. 1, 2016, in block 396049. Then they checked all subsequent blocks and found two transactions of roughly the same amount, in block 396123 (0.026043 BTC) and in block 396060 (0.02604322 BTC).
Since the exact amount was sent with the transaction in block 396123 from 1LQv8aKtQoiY5M5zkaG8RWL7LMwNzVaVqR, Bellingcat concludes that address is more likely to have been used by the GRU agents three years ago. The digital cash was sent to 1NZ4MSeYcDKFiPRt8h7VK6XMhShwzhCzCp and the U.K.-based research group believes this address is connected to the presumed Russian hackers.
Paxos Marks $ 10 Billion in Transactions Since Launch
The U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin paxos standard token (PAX) has reached over $ 10 billion in transactions in less than five months since its launch in September 2018, the coin’s developers announced on Twitter this week. “Redemption requests are processed in just 5 hours,” their post further details. All-time redemptions are close to $ 260 million and weekly redemptions are over $ 16 million.
According to the shared data, the weekly PAX transactions currently amount to almost $ 580 million. As of Jan. 29, the total issuance has been $ 394 million and at the time of writing, the stablecoin’s market capitalization hovers around $ 123 million.
The paxos standard token is issued by the Paxos Trust Company. PAX was one of two ‘regulated’ stablecoins that received approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services last fall, with the other one being the Gemini dollar (GUSD) issued by Gemini Trust. Both have been announced as cryptocurrencies backed 1:1 with USD.
The team behind another dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), recently announced they’ve expanded the crypto’s ecosystem. Goldman Sachs-backed startup Circle revealed three new companies have added support for its digital currency, bringing the total number of partners to more than 100. Among them are cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers, other crypto platforms and app developers.
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The post The Daily: Grin Developer Fund Grows, Russian Agent’s BTC Transaction Tracked appeared first on Bitcoin News.
As the battle over border walls continues, more than 400 U.S. Border Patrol agents trained in underground “confined space” agents are faced with an ongoing crisis: tunnels.
The ongoing government shutdown is damaging national security and “our enemies know they can run freely,” FBI agents say in a report from a group that represents more than 14,000 current and former agents. In the FBI Agents Association report, the agents, speaking anonymously, describe how the lack of…
U.S. federal law enforcement authorities are among the most active criminal agencies globally against cryptocurrency infractions. A new example of this is that FBI and Homeland Security agents have reportedly raided a technology campus over unauthorized cryptocurrency trading.
Unauthorized Crypto Trading
According to several media reports from Grand Rapids, Michigan, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have raided a not-for-profit technological education group in the city, on Dec. 21, 2018.
The head of the organization, the National Science Institute (originally named “The Geek Group”), now claims that the reason for the raid is that he was commercially trading in the cryptocurrency markets without the government’s authorization, according to a recent local TV report (video embedded below). Chris Boden reportedly said he thinks he might be sent to federal prison and needs over $ 100,000 for legal expenses. “I did a stupid thing, I made a bad decision, so I’m going to pay for it.” Boden is recorded saying.
On Saturday, Boden announced a “Going Out Of Business” sale on Facebook. “Everything goes. We have to completely liquidate all of our assets to close down the nonprofit. There will be nothing left. The proceeds will go towards paying off our gigantic mountain of debt.” Regarding the case he only provided this message: “On the advice of legal council I will not comment further on the Government’s ongoing investigation.”
FBI, HSI Among Most Active in the World
This case is only the latest example of U.S. authorities being among the most active globally against cryptocurrency infractions. Recently, Kraken released statistics about the global breakdown of its subpoenas from authorities during 2018. While the exchange reports that just about 20 percent of its clients come from the U.S., the country represented the absolute majority of requests for information it had to handle from all over the world. Following the United States’ 315 subpoenas in 2018 was the U.K. with just 61. In fact, the FBI alone issued more requests than all U.K. authorities, a total of 67. HSI was even more of a burden on the exchange with 91 information requests.
Is taxpayers’ money being put to good use with federal agents sent to tackle unauthorized crypto trading? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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The feds provided a vivid, blow-by-blow account Monday of the broad-daylight ambush shooting of an FBI agent in Brooklyn.
A former administrator from the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace is recounting his story in a tell-all book and movie deal. After being arrested in 2013, darknet moderator Curtis Green was involved in a bizarre conspiracy with corrupt Silk Road investigators and was later told to fake his own death.
A Kilo of Cocaine and Half a Million Dollars of BTC
The Silk Road marketplace, launched in Feb. 2011, was the first darknet market (DNM) that allowed the buying and selling of illicit narcotics. On Friday, a Salt Lake City media publication interviewed former Silk Road administrator Curtis Green about his involvement with the first DNM. Green says he can publicly discuss the subject now after selling his movie rights and publishing his book called The Silk Road Takedown. According to reports, Green’s memories and the Silk Road backstory has been turned into a Coen Brothers screenplay.
Green was involved in a shady conspiracy that complicated the Silk Road (SR) investigation because law enforcement faked his torture and had Green pretend he was dead for a year. Before his arrest, Green worked as a salaried administrator making thousands of bitcoins in revenue by issuing accounts and passwords to SR users. When U.S. bureaucrats started talking about the darknet in Congress, several three-letter agencies began to search for the creator of the Silk Road, an anonymous figure called the Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR). According to Green, when law enforcement officials acquired his Utah address, someone sent a kilogram of cocaine to his house.
The former SR moderator said he didn’t know the cocaine was being delivered and unknowingly took the narcotics into his home. Not long after opening the package of powder, Green was arrested and told the police everything he knew about the darknet marketplace. Moreover, Green gave the investigators vendor passwords and credentials to major dealers selling wares on the market. A couple of days later, about $ 500,000 worth of BTC was stolen from SR vendors and staff due to Green’s leaked information handed to police.
“I feel terrible,” Green told KSL Broadcasting during his interview in Salt Lake City. “There’s terrible guilt — I really wish I hadn’t gone to the Silk Road.”
Fake Torture and a Phony Death Plot
Following the cocaine bust and stolen bitcoins, Green explained that U.S. law enforcement officials told him that DPR wanted the administrator “beat up.” So they decided to fake-torture Green and used a phony waterboarding technique to make it look like he was bruised and beaten. Green then claims the agents told him DPR wanted him dead and asked him and his wife to perform a fake death. Under instructions from federal agents, the former SR administrator and his wife created a bogus death photo using a can of red soup. Green says he pretended he was dead for close to a year and never left his house in Utah.
Green: ‘Bad Agents Were My Get-Out-of-Jail Card’
It was only after Ross Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco that Green and the public found out about the two rogue special agents who stole BTC from the investigation. Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Force and U.S. Secret Service veteran Shaun Bridges were convicted of stealing thousands of bitcoins from the case and are now in prison. According to testimony in court, back in April of 2013, the father of Carl Force passed away and Force decided to create an SR account called “Death from Above.” Following the new profile creation, the agent used the account to attempt to extort DPR. Force’s legal representation, criminal defense lawyer Ivan Bates, explained that during this time Force was drinking a lot and had significant mental health problems. Later Green plead guilty for the cocaine delivery, but was let off the hook by federal prosecutors because he helped law enforcement officials and because of the part he played in the Bridges and Force scandal.
“Two people that are deceitful criminals and here they were part of the government,” Green opined during his interview. The former SR administrator continued:
The bad agents were my get-out-of-jail card, to be honest — They put me through a year’s worth of — ‘hell’ is not even a term befitting what they did.
Meanwhile, Ross Ulbricht is serving a double life sentence for his involvement with the darknet market and his family continues to fight for his freedom. The blatant corruption involved with the Silk Road investigation gives the Ulbricht family reason to believe the whole case was rife with manipulation.
The Ulbrichts have also created a petition to U.S. president Donald Trump asking for Ross to receive clemency. So far the document has garnered over 100,000 signatures. Green says his life will go on and emphasized to the Salt Lake City media publication that he “can’t go back and change it.” The former darknet administrator added: “All I can do is apologize, make sure I don’t make the same mistakes twice and move forward.”
What do you think about Curtis Green’s tale regarding U.S. investigators asking him to fake his own death? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments section below.
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