Crypto Entrepreneur Faces 30 Years in Prison
Data protection of crypto transactions is an issue again. This time due to the arrest of Larry Harmon, CEO of the “Dropbit” app. He is accused of conspiring to launder money.
Dropbit, Bitcoin wallet and Bitcoin service will continue to run for the time being. However, Coin Ninja was seized, Harmon’s cryptocurrency medium. The most controversial topic was the Helix service that helped Dropbit customers mix their coins.
Peter McCormack, a prominent Bitcoin supporter, writes in a long Twitter thread: The attempt to offer private BTC transfers could have serious consequences for Harmon. The use of Dropbit and Helix has also been reported to have to do with dark markets.
Dropbit should become an app for the general public and “the Venmo for Bitcoin“. The app also had a referral program to send and receive Satoshis to help spread the word.
However, the authorities do not like to mix coins because law enforcement is now after the providers of mixers. This time the US authorities became aware of it, and it was they who sued Harmon directly for attempting money laundering with BTC.
Harmon helped with coin mixing for Darknet sites
The other serious allegation against Harmon concerns the development of the grief search engine that summarized the results of Darknet websites. The helix-coin mixing service was also connected to the gram search engine to anonymize BTC usage.
There is evidence in the indictment papers that Helix was actively promoted as a tool to mix BTC and exchange for new coins that were not spoiled by the use of darknet coins.
The messages and complaints helped law enforcement agencies take action against Harmon. Helix reportedly offered mixed services for the Alpha Bay Darknet website back in 2016.
Mixers have been used in the crypto space for years, although raids have only recently occurred. Due to stricter money laundering regulations, even blockchain awards are not exempt from the review.
In most cases, anonymous use is discouraged, and exchanges or traders already require KYC to make them anonymous.
As a result of Helix's activity, Harmon has reportedly helped launder 354,468 BTC, which equates to over $354 million at current prices. But what’s even stranger: the Bitcoins that went through Helix were treated as “money” — in a case where Harmon transferred value without having a license to transfer money in the District of Columbia.
Author: Marko Vidrih
Featured image credit: Pixabay