The Internal Services Revenue (IRS) has got its eye on Bitcoin and Telegram

Telegram is an application familiar to cryptocurrency traders because of its security and privacy. However, regulators have been keeping an eye on the app. Recently, in an interview with news site Decrypt, the Internal Services Revenue (IRS), Cyber ​​Crimes Unit, Chris Janczewski said that the IRS is keeping an eye on Bitcoin and Telegram.


Special agent of the IRS’s Cyber Crimes Unit, Chris Janczewski

The Internal Services Revenue (IRS) has got its eye on Bitcoin and Telegram

Telegram is a special chat application that protects privacy by encrypting user messages. With the IRS, however, this is one of the most worrisome.

Janczewski is a special agent of the IRS. In 2018, he helped bust a massive child-porn site by examining Bitcoin transactions.

He said:

“That’s because peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges that operate on the popular instant messaging app can quickly and easily shift dirty or stolen funds.”

But if they do it via Telegram, the IRS will not be able to catch it.

And last week, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig asked congress to have explicit authority to regulate cryptocurrencies and more closely monitor and collect cryptocurrency data. Cryptocurrencies have posed a significant detection problem by facilitating illegal activity.

Janczewski stated:

“I don’t think, personally, that these types of exchanges are as big of a threat as these P2P exchanges—traders based in China that are nested in other exchanges. There is often a network of people that want to convert crypto into fiat.”

The OTC markets on Telegram are also worth noting. Buyers will be based in China, or other countries with access to exchanges with more relaxed know-your-customer (KYC) regulations. Illicit funds can then move through exchanges, and be converted to fiat bit by bit, or vice versa.

Last year, two Chinese nationals were also accused of laundering $105.5 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency for the North Korean government. The funds are believed to have been disbursed to Chinese bank accounts, iTunes gift cards, and using at least one US-based exchange.

It is one of the common use cases of cryptocurrency to launder money. Criminals who often transact in Bitcoin may have the most trouble. This is because Bitcoin is a transparent cryptocurrency network and transactions are relatively easy to track on the blockchain. That makes Bitcoin-related criminal activity easy to track for law enforcement.

But also vice versa, if they do it on Telegram through OTC groups and trade-in anonymous tokens, this will be difficult for law enforcement.

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