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CryptoQuant CEO Supports Crypto Mixing, Says It’s Not A Crime

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 1 min read
CryptoQuant CEO Supports Crypto Mixing, showing various cryptocurrencies.

Ki Young Ju, the founder and CEO of CryptoQuant, voiced his support on April 25 for crypto mixing, arguing that such activities were not illegal. His reaction was in response to the arrest of Samourai Wallet’s founders, which sparked concerns in the crypto community over the U.S. government’s aggressive crackdown on the crypto industry.

CryptoQuant CEO Voices Out Concerns On DOJ’s Stance on Privacy-Driven Technologies

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested Keonne Rodriguez and William Hill, the CEO and chief technology officer of Samourai Wallet on April 24. They each face one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and another count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

Ki Young Ju expressed his concern about the arrest as he emphasized that privacy was a fundamental principle of web3.

“Privacy stands as a core value of Bitcoin. Mixing itself is not a crime,” he wrote. “Even crypto exchanges use mixing to safeguard user privacy. It’s like punishing the inventor of the knife instead of the one who uses it.”

The infamous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden echoed similar sentiments, criticizing the arrest of the Samourai Wallet’s founder and suggesting that financial privacy should be “to make money private by default.”

The DOJ’s announcement accused Rodriguez and Hill of operating a crypto mixing service that allegedly laundered over $100 million from illicit dark web markets.

Prosecutors claimed that the Samourai Wallet service had facilitated approximately $2 billion in unlawful transactions since its inception in 2015.

It was also disclosed that the duo allegedly accumulated around $4.5 million in fees from their mixing services on Samourai Wallet, which offered various features with different pool fees.

Crackdown on Crypto Mixing Services and Similar Privacy Technologies

US regulators have made a habit of targeting privacy-preserving technologies like crypto mixers.

Earlier in 2023, the DOJ charged the developers of the Tornado Cash crypto mixing service with money laundering, sanctions violations, and operating an unlicensed money transfer business.

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has cautioned Americans against utilizing unregistered cryptocurrency money-transmitting services smart-contract-driven privacy tools.

The law enforcement body urged citizens only to use registered Cryptocurrency Money Services Businesses that comply with existing Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.