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Leading Cryptocurrency Mixing Services Busted

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One of the world's leading cryptocurrency mixing services was busted in a joint operation by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), Europol and the authorities in Luxembourg.

A cryptocurrency tumbler or cryptocurrency mixing service is a service offered to mix potentially identifiable or 'tainted' cryptocurrency funds with others, so as to obscure the trail back to the fund's original source.

An investigation launched in June 2018 by the FIOD with the support of the internet security company McAfee led to the seizure of six servers operated by Bestmixer.io. in the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and the closure of their website.

Europol in a statement Wednesday claimed that it was the first law enforcement action of its kind against such a cryptocurrency mixer service.

Bestmixer.io was one of the three largest mixing services for cryptocurrencies, and offered services for mixing bitcoins, bitcoin cash and litecoins.

Europol said that the service started in May 2018 and achieved a turnover of at least $200 million by mixing about 27,000 bitcoins within a year.

The service was being offered with the guarantee that the customers would remain anonymous.

Coin mixer users pay a fee on top of the funds they send in, in return for receiving their money back from a completely new address.

The investigation has found that many of the mixed cryptocurrencies that passed through Bestmixer.io had a criminal origin or destination.

As part of the probe, the Dutch FIOD gathered information on all the interactions on Bestmixer.io in the past year, which included IP-addresses, transaction details, bitcoin addresses and chat messages.

Europol, which is the law enforcement agency of the European Union, said that it will analyze these information in cooperation with the FIOD, and intelligence packages will be shared with other countries.

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