DarkSide generated at least 2,369.13 BTC (~$94.7M at current market value) via 74 ransomware payments between 10/6/2020 and 5/11/2021. (Source)

DarkSide is a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operator responsible for the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in May last month, which caused gasoline futures to rise to their highest level in 3 years and disrupted fuel delivery across the Southeastern U.S. This article highlights what we know about DarkSide and explains how BTC flows among its network. Transaction hashes and specific entities have been omitted to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations.

💻 Who Is DarkSide?

Dogecoin — the cryptocurrency forked from Litecoin in late 2013 as a joke — has gained 475% in the past 30 days to become the seventh largest cryptocurrency by market cap in the world. It is easy to understand why this is happening when we take a look at how DOGE fits into the crypto economy.

1-month view of DOGE price. (Source: Coinbase)

While Binance currently dominates DOGE trading volumes (over 45% globally as of writing) there are only three exchanges in the US that support it: Robinhood, Kraken, and Binance.us. While Robinhood volumes are unknown, Kraken and Binance.us only control 3.9% of global DOGE volumes.

Miles Davis would run the coolest Compliance Program.

Classical vs. Jazz Music 🎶

Classical music is very technical in nature; each and every pitch is prescribed to the musician on sheet music, and the musician is expected to play it exactly as it appears. Improvisation is not tolerated. For example, here are the first six bars of the piano part for Beethoven’s Für Elise, in which every note, dynamic, and use of the sustain pedal is dictated:

Business Development and Compliance teams have competing goals, resulting in a natural friction. Knowing how to extract value from this friction can provide a competitive edge.

BizDev & Compliance: A Love Story ❤️

Two teams with seemingly competing interests exist internally at each and every FinTech and traditional financial institution in the US — Business Development (“BizDev”) and Compliance teams, specifically.

BizDev is often if not always the revenue-driver of the business; its mission is to get the product into as many hands as possible. Its Key Performance Indicators (“KPIs”) usually revolve around active users, transaction volumes, and App Store rankings; these metrics must be maximized.

Conversely, Compliance is in the business of implementing legally-required controls which limit the potential size of the customer base and prevent specifically-sanctioned individuals and entities from having…

The first thing to come to mind when you hear “Bitcoin” is probably a number — and that number is probably its price. Right now, the price is rapidly rising. Other times, it is rapidly declining. Sometimes, it does nothing. So what does this price really tell us about Bitcoin’s future?

Bitcoin’s price is one of many indicators of its position in the global race for an Internet-native currency. And let’s be clear. It is a race. These are its top four contenders:

  1. Bitcoin (BTC)
  2. Fiat-Backed Stablecoins (Tether & USDC)
  3. Libra
  4. PBoC Project

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin (“BTC”) is the native asset of…

The Libra “Blockchain” is a unique database system, but it is not a blockchain.

(Credit: CNN)

Blockchain Defined

A blockchain is a distributed ledger containing a growing list of records (transactions) that are batched in blocks which are linked together using cryptography. Generally, blockchains involve the following players:

  • Developers: geographically distributed Programmers who create and maintain the code underlying the blockchain.
  • Users: Token Holders who broadcast transactions to Miners for inclusion in the blockchain.
  • Miners: add Users’ transactions to the blockchain by producing blocks.
  • Full Nodes: oracles that maintain a full copy of the blockchain in order to validate transactions.

I’m no good at Photoshop, but you get the point…

The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) — a multi-national group of 36 countries responsible for developing recommendations related to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing — is expected to finalize and adopt its most rigorous Recommendation regarding virtual assets on June 21st. The Recommendation compels Virtual Asset Service Providers (“VASPs”, which include Exchanges, Custodians, and Hedge Funds) to collect data such as Legal Names and Physical Addresses of Senders & Receivers of virtual asset transactions over $/€1,000 and to transmit this data amongst each other, as banks currently do with wire transfers.

This guidance places new requirements on VASPs which are…

On June 11th 2018, Coinbase announced its intent to add full support for Ethereum Classic (“ETC”) to all but one of its products, with the possibility of supporting it across all products given healthy market conditions. Coinbase had previously enabled withdrawal support for ETC in 2016, but only for users who would have had an ETC balance as a result of the hard fork.

This article examines ETC’s performance against the GDAX Digital Asset Framework provided by Coinbase.

📝 The Scorecard

💯 Scoring System

I will keep the category format consistent with that of the GDAX Digital Asset Framework and analyze each category on a point…

Credit: Newsweek

— — — — — BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE — — — — —
Hash: SHA512

Dear Satoshi,

I first learned about Bitcoin back when the Block Height was around 225k. It was around this block range that Bitcoin was making big news and starting to go mainstream. Most folk were too caught up the price action to care about the details of your clever little blockchain invention and the media was mostly repeating the same tired sound bites about how Bitcoin’s only legitimate use was its illegitimate use in the darknet markets.

I remember reading these words in your…

The EtherDelta smart contract; the engine of the exchange.

Smart Contract Custody Exchanges (“SCCE”) were the very first generation of decentralized exchange mechanisms. They enable anyone with an Internet connection to trade between ETH and ERC20 pairs entirely on the Ethereum blockchain without providing any personal information.

SCCEs are made up of individual smart contracts that handle all aspects of a trade from custody, order book management, and trade settlement — all performed entirely on-chain. This is different from Relayers, which use a hybrid approach where order books are centrally managed off-chain and trades are settled on-chain.

This article provides a step-by-step overview of what it’s like to actually…

Bitcoin Compliance Professional

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