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Should Have Used Monero is an abbreviation that was first used in this Reddit Thread. The term started trending after a Dark Net website administrator named Gal Vallerius (OxyMonster) was arrested because the authorities were able to uncover his identity by following his trail of Bitcoin transactions. Vallerius was using a Bitcoin address to accept payments in exchange for the unauthorized distribution of narcotics. After law enforcement analyzed the outgoing transactions they managed to uncover his identity. (Source: Jay Weaver)

Is Bitcoin actually private? (No)

Vallerius' identity was uncovered because of Bitcoin's transparent nature. All Bitcoin transactions are publicly available for everybody to see. This means anybody can see where your Bitcoins came from or who you sent Bitcoins to. The only "privacy" bitcoin has relies on individuals not being directly linked to their bitcoin addresses. However, various sites have been able to link your identity to your Bitcoin address by using tracking software.

This is not an isolated case

Companies, organizations and individuals are starting to employ software to analyze transactions that occur on the Bitcoin network. This website was made to highlight the dangers of using an open network like Bitcoin. To learn more about Monero and how to use it, go to getmonero.org

HSBC closes Marine Le Pen bank account

Marine Le Pen with microphone
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s Front National, has claimed that she and her party are victims of a “banking fatwa” after HSBC closed a bank account she had had for 25 years. The move by Britain’s biggest bank comes amid heightened scrutiny of political accounts and the day after Société Générale, France’s second-largest bank, asked the far-right party to close all its accounts after a 30-year relationship. Le Pen told a press conference on Wednesday that HSBC had “driven me out”. She said the closure of her and the party’s accounts amounted to a “banking fatwa” against the Front National, which has said it will sue both banks for discrimination.
(Nov 22, 2017) Angelique Chrisafis, Jill Treanor (backup)

Police bust Turkish gang that kidnapped wealthy Bitcoin holders

Police arresting turkish man
Turkish police are toasting their success after capturing an enterprising gang of crypto kidnappers. Their targets were major bitcoin holders. The quintet were caught as they prepared to pounce on their second victim, having already extorted 450 bitcoins, worth U.S. $3.3 million, from a wealthy businessman. The incident took place in Merter, a suburb in the west of Istanbul. As the country’s Habertürk newspaper reports, the audacious gang followed their first victim to his car before kidnapping him, laptop and all. They then pressurized the man into parting with 450 BTC. The ordeal lasted for eight hours, during which the victim was detained in a minibus and threatened with violence.
(Nov 16, 2017) Kai Sedgwick (backup)

Paradise Papers: Tax haven secrets of ultra-rich exposed

Queen Elizabeth II of England
A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen's private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens. Donald Trump's commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US. The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. BBC Panorama is part of nearly 100 media groups investigating the papers. As with last year's Panama Papers leak, the documents were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which called in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to oversee the investigation. The Guardian is among the nearly 100 media partners involved in investigating the documents.
(Nov 5, 2017) Paradise Papers reporting team (backup)

Two Chinese nationals charged in darknet fentanyl case

Partial court document of case
Two Chinese nationals have been indicted in an international drug trafficking investigation. The two Chinese men who were indicted include 38 year old Jian Zhang and 40 year old Xiaobing Yan. Both men were indicted on charges of trafficking fentanyl into the United States. Law enforcement claims that the two men had made transactions on the darknet to American and Canadian customers. Law enforcement claims the men operated four illegal chemistry laboratories in China, and that they accepted Bitcoin for the orders of fentanyl. Two people in Florida, a person from New Jersey, and five Canadian citizens were also implicated in trafficking Zhang and Yan’s fentanyl.
(Oct 30, 2017) DIVIDEDBY0 (backup)

LocalBitcoins Trader Charged for Running Unlicensed Bitcoin Exchange

Figure of woman holding scale
An indictment published by Detroit TV news service WD-IV reveals that a 52-year-old Michigan man, Bradley Anthony Stetkiw, was recently charged with running an unlicensed money transmitting business after selling nearly $150,000 worth of bitcoin between 2013 and 2015, out of which over $56,000 were to law enforcement agents. The indictment reveals that Stetkiw went by the name “SaltandPepper” on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins and that he had a number of positive reviews on his profile. He advertised his services by stating that he was the most reliable and honest trader in Oakland County, and arranged to meet customers at a Tim Hortons restaurant, in Bloomfield. The indictment also points out that besides being involved in unlicensed money transmissions, he also sent at least 0.6766 BTC to the now-defunct dark web market Alpha Bay.
(Oct 30, 2017) Francisco Memoria (backup)

Super-rich fear their financial details will be exposed following Bermuda cyber hack

Illustration of hacker
They suffered what they called a “data security incident”, which is presumably a hack of some description. It happened last year, but the consequences are just becoming clear – Appleby said it has gone public with the event because it was contacted by journalists about its “business and the business conducted by some of our clients”, with the resulting story expected to be published soon. Who’s worried? Many of the world’s most famous, influential and important people, according to numerous reports. The company behind the hack looked after the affairs of some of the richest people around, and so you can expect them to be caught up in the attack. For the most part, that’s probably going to be influential people who could be accused of hypocrisy or outright immorality on the basis of their business dealings.
(Oct 26, 2017) The Independent (backup)

Russian arrested for alleged bitcoin fraud appears in Greek court

Alexander Vinnik
Vinnik, 38, was arrested on a US warrant in the Greek resort area of Halkidiki as he was holidaying with his wife and two children in July this year. He is facing extradition to the US, where he is wanted on charges of money laundering and running “one of the most important websites of electronic crime in the world,” authorities said upon his arrest. The Thessaloniki court will decide on Friday whether to extradite the Russian to the US. Asked by the judge if he admits his guilt, Vinnik denied any wrongdoing, Russian media reported.
(Sep 29, 2017) Alexandros Avramidis (backup)

Four busted in South Korea's first darknet drug operation

Lee's weed stash
Thanks to “deepweb monitoring,” the police explained, they had the ability to watch Lee’s every move. According to the police, they arrested Lee, Aomo, and two others when Lee had visited a local Bitcoin exchanger (not LBC). The group was indicted for cannabis distribution in the darknet and in person, along with additional charges of drug distribution. The prosecutor said that “illegal transactions through the Deep Web are now in the investigation scope of law enforcement.” And, furthermore, he added, “we will continue to crack down on similar crimes by developing tracking techniques”.
(Sep 28, 2017) C. Aliens (backup)

Dark web drug dealer arrested on his way to beard competition in the US

Gal Vallerius
The US authorities have arrested a suspected dark web drug dealer, Gal Vallerius, who was traveling from France to the US to compete in the World Beard and Moustache Championship in Austin, Texas. Vallerius has been identified as “OxyMonster,” who is a vendor and administrator on Dream Market, where consumers use cryptocurrency to buy and sell illicit drugs and counterfeit passports. After a multi-agency investigation, 38-year-old Vallerius was arrested on August 31 at the Atlanta International Airport. According to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), OxyMonster was a senior moderator, administrator and a vendor on the underground online market.
(Sep 28, 2017) Rafia Shaikh (backup)

Russian police arrested three men for illegally trading $9 million USD worth of Bitcoin last week.

Bitcoin wallet visual representation
Three Russian men have been arrested in Kostroma under charges of “illegal banking” for unlicensed bitcoin trading. This occurred following the discovery of irregular activity relating to approximately 300 bank cards and sim cards. Prosecutors believe that the accused were circulating money through the accounts of family members in order to obscure the financial trail related to their bitcoin trading activities. The men were arrested by Kostroma local police and Federal Security Service officers. Despite recent rhetoric from Russia suggesting that the nation will move toward developing a tightly controlled but permissive regulatory apparatus pertaining to cryptocurrency, trading rubles into bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies today is legally a gray area.
(Sep 5, 2017) Samuel Haig (backup)