IRS Lurks on Telegram To Bust Illegal Bitcoin Trades

3 months ago 24
  • The IRS has set its eyes on Telegram.
  • Cyber crime unit says the app offers full privacy which could offer a space for illicit transactions.
  • Most countries are only now beginning to write-up new regulations for crypto.

The Internal Services Revenue (IRS) is on the prowl on the Telegram app. The entity is suspicious of secretive Telegram chats being an easy option for criminals to launder digital money.

The instant messaging app promises its users complete privacy with the presence of total end-to-end encryption on their messages. This in turn makes the IRS vary of the presence of possible fraudulent activities on the platform. 

Special IRS agent Chris Janczewski from the Cyber Crimes Unit says that the IRS will keep a close eye on the app. The total encryption feature allows users to make instant peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. These could easily be the trading of shifty funds or stolen assets.

Crypto, including Bitcoin, have been known for conducting fraudulent activities.  Most countries are yet to introduce proper regulations for this new technology. Therefore, the IRS is making it a priority to crack down on crypto crime prevailing in the crypto space as of now.

Recently, President Joe Biden made it so that all crypto transfers over $10,000 must be reported to the IRS. However, this is still not enough. Multiple countries have begun to follow Biden’s lead by setting their government entities to write-up new regulations for crypto.

Personally, Janczewski believes that crypto exchanges are not really a threat. However, P2P exchanges are the real problem. He says that with crypto exchanges, the exchanges act as the middleman, hence, there is less chance for illicit activity.

In contrast, P2P exchanges simply have two parties striking a deal. Therefore, since there is no body regulating this, there is no saying what activities are taking place. 

Specifically, Telegram is home to many groups where users tend to make multiple P2P crypto transactions. Moreover, most of them are easy to find. The agent also notes that of course not all P2P transactions are illicit ones, which makes their job that much more important.

Finally, Janczewski remarks that Bitcoin transactions are easy to trace. Due to its transparent nature, it is easy to trace Bitcoin transactions on its blockchain. This makes it easier for officials to track down criminals.  

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