The US government continues to crack down on illicit crypto activity by targeting a website it says obfuscates transaction data.
In a new press release, the US Treasury Department says the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is sanctioning Blender.io, a service OFAC allegedly uses by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to launder illicit crypto profits obtained through Hacking activity.
Citing a theft from the Axie Infinity (AXS)network on March 23 that used Blender to process $20.5 million of the stolen funds, the move is the Biden administration’s latest effort to crack down on malicious actors in the cryptocurrency to proceed place.
At the end of April, the Treasury approved three Ethereum (ETH) Wallets related to the Lazarus Group, which the DPRK allegedly uses for hacking and money laundering purposes.
Treasury Department Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said of the new sanctions:
“Today, for the first time ever, the Treasury sanctioned a virtual currency mixer. Virtual currency mixers that support illicit transactions pose a threat to US national security interests.
We take action against DPRK’s illegal financial activities and will not allow state-sponsored theft and its money laundering opportunities to go unanswered.”
Virtual currency mixers combine the data of multiple crypto-related transactions to obfuscate information associated with the sender and receiver. The government claims that alongside the DPRK, ransomware groups linked to Russia are also using Blender’s services.
According to the press release, all of Blender’s properties in the United States are on hold and subject to reporting to OFAC. In addition, US persons must report all Blender holdings to OFAC.
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Source: Crypto News Deutsch