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CryptoQuant CEO Disagrees with DOJ’s Intent on Samourai Wallet Founders’ Charge
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CryptoQuant CEO Disagrees with DOJ’s Intent on Samourai Wallet Founders’ Charge

Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant, has opposed the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) charge on two co-founders of crypto mixing service Samourai Wallet.

Samourai Wallet founders were both arrested on Monday after being charged with money laundering offenses by the DOJ.

The CEO’s stance aligns with most opinions from experts and investors in the broader crypto market.

CryptoQuant CEO Stands by Samourai Wallet Co-founders

A quick back story. Samourai Wallet founders Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill were both arrested on Monday after being charged with money laundering offenses by the DOJ. 

The minimum penalty for the charges is five years, and the maximum is twenty years.

Their arrest was part of an effort from the US government to prosecute protocols used for crypto mixing tools. Regulators noted that these tools could be used by bad actors and foreign governments to conceal fund transactions.

However, CryptoQuant’s CEO sternly criticized the DOJ for pressing charges against Samourai Wallet founders in a rare advocacy move. 

See Also: Stripe Reintroduces Crypto Payments Via USDC Stablecoin

He noted that Rodriguez and Hill are both pioneers in Bitcoin’s privacy technology. According to him, privacy stands as a core value of Bitcoin.

The CEO argues that mixing in crypto is legal, and highlights that crypto exchanges use this capability to safeguard their consumers’ privacy. He likened the founders’ arrest to punishing the inventor of the knife instead of the one who uses it.

The founders’ arrest has reverberated within the crypto community with many opposing such a move. 

One user even commented that the US government is clearly against Bitcoin privacy. 

According to the announcement of the founders’ arrest, the pair were accused of facilitating over $100 million in money laundering transactions from illegal dark web markets.

The release claims Samourai facilitated approximately $2 billion in “unlawful transactions” between 2015 to date. 

This amount was determined by converting the value of Bitcoin laundered through the platform to US dollars.

Furthermore, Rodriguez and Hill were also accused of collecting about $4.5 million in transaction fees for their mixing services. The indictment revealed different features had different pool fees.

According to the press statement, Rodriguez was taken into custody on Wednesday morning and is scheduled to appear in court in Pennsylvania later today or tomorrow.  

In a similar move, Hill was detained in Portugal on Wednesday morning and anticipated to be extradited to the United States.

At the moment, a seizure warrant has been filed for the Samourai mobile application on the Google Play Store, and the Samourai Wallet website which was hosted in Iceland has also been seized.

Benefits of Crypto Mixing

According to reports, the primary reason for using a Bitcoin mixer is to protect users’ privacy. Notably, all transactions made with cryptocurrencies are public. 

Thus, crypto mixing enables a skilled user to track the funds back to the original owner if not adequately anonymized.

Users may protect their assets and stay anonymous by using a crypto-mixing service. 

This is particularly crucial if you want to keep your cryptocurrency transactions private and you’re utilizing them for legitimate purchases.

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