U.S. Government Enacts Sanctions on Crypto Mixer Sinbad Under Allegations of Aiding North Korean Money Laundering


The U.S. government is sanctioning another crypto mixing protocol, accusing it of aiding North Korea in laundering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen digital assets.

In a new press release, the U.S. Department of the Treasury says that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is sanctioning the crypto tumbler Sinbad for allegedly helping North Korean hacking ring Lazarus Group wash stolen money.

Sinbad, which operates on Bitcoin (BTC), aims to obfuscate the identity of users conducting transactions by mixing their digital assets through a pool of other random tokens.

“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Sinbad.io (Sinbad), a virtual currency mixer that serves as a key money-laundering tool of the OFAC-designated Lazarus Group, a state-sponsored cyber hacking group of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)…

Sinbad was used to launder a significant portion of the $100 million worth of virtual currency stolen on June 3, 2023, from customers of Atomic Wallet. Sinbad was also used to launder a significant portion of virtual currency from the Axie Infinity heist of approximately $620 million in March 2022, and the Horizon Bridge heist of approximately $100 million in June 2022.”

Says Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo in the press release,

“Mixing services that enable criminal actors, such as the Lazarus Group, to launder stolen assets will face serious consequences.

The Treasury Department and its U.S. government partners stand ready to deploy all tools at their disposal to prevent virtual currency mixers, like Sinbad, from facilitating illicit activities. While we encourage responsible innovation in the digital asset ecosystem, we will not hesitate to take action against illicit actors.”

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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Catalyst Labs





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