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Cryptocurrencies have always carried a bad reputation due to the lack of oversight from government authorities. They always attract elements of the criminal world because of their ability to allow work freely in any jurisdiction even across borders. Due to this fact, one of the major reasons for the lack of their worldwide adoption by the mainstream industry has been the investors’ fear of being pulled into something illegal.
Over the course of the last couple of years, some of the largest fraud cases originated from cryptocurrencies. The latest such news comes from Romania where the owner of the well-known crypto exchange Coinflux, Nistor Vlad Calin, has been arrested on the charges of money laundering, organized crime, and fraud, and is expected to be extradited to the U.S.
Calin was arrested in December on a warrant from the U.S. for organized crime, money laundering and fraud allegedly carried out through his cryptocurrency exchange. This arrest came after he was named in a note from a secret service agent to have been knowingly involved in laundering proceeds of criminal activity committed on the territory of the U.S.
Mr. Nistor was arrested in December by Romanian law enforcement officials and Secret Service agents in Cluj, where his crypto business is based. He was released soon by the Bucharest Court of Appeal; however, he was not allowed to leave the city. At that time, Mr. Vlad appealed to the court to reject the extradition request. The court rejected his objections on Dec. 20 and pushed through the extradition request. With the cryptocurrency prices dropping every couple of months, news stories like these further raise the argument whether there should be a rebirth of cryptocurrencies under better control of authorities.
Calin’s Lawyer has claimed that the conditions required for the extradition to take effect have not been met in his client’s case. He further insisted that his client had no way of knowing that the said cryptocurrency was obtained through criminal activities. He has requested the court to reject the extradition request. In a similar case in December where the Supreme Court of Greece approved the extradition of Alexander Vinnik to France based on allegations of money laundering. Alexander Vinnik was the former operator of the now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e.
Stories of criminal activity like this will only further discourage the ordinary investor who is supposed to be the backbone of the crypto world. Already feeling scared by the looming crypto trends and dropping prices, the only reprieve for the investors is that blockchain technology has been widely adopted in recent months by the mainstream industry. The outcome of such a wide adoption is certain to help the current state of the crypto world in some way.