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Bitcoin Fungibility, Mixing and the Legal Limits on Maintaining Privacy

On February 13, 2020, Larry Harmon, of Akron, Ohio, was charged with three counts: (1) conspiracy to commit money laundering, (2) operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and (3) conducting money transmission without a DC license.  According to the DOJ, Harmon operated “Helix,” which was also known as a “tumbler” or “mixer,” without registering as a money services business or money transmitter. These technologies allow a user to obfuscate the origin of their bitcoin. Regulations on Bitcoin Privacy According to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), exchanging virtual currency (among other things) is a FinCEN-regulated activity. According to FinCEN, “[a]n exchanger…

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