The inquiry performed by the WSJ monitored funds from more than 2,500 digital wallets, flagged by the courts for their connection with illegal activities. The investigators cooperated with Elliptic, a blockchain forensic firm located in London, to track funds from digital wallets to cryptoexchanges, as well as to perform identification for third party portfolios that might have been owned by the cryptoexchanges. WSJ downloaded them and matched them with the digital wallets under suspicion.
As per the report, ShapeShift AG is claimed to be among the biggest acceptors of unlawfully obtained money to have established offices in the United States, handling more than 9 million USD out of the total 88 million USD laundered within the course of the past two years. The Swiss cryptoexchange service, which operates in the US, allows customers to engage in anonymous cryptotrading.
However, the cryptoexchange itself has recently made an announcement that it aims to comply with Know Your Customer regulations starting from October. As explained by the officials, ShapeShift intends to decrease the risks taken by the company.
Nevertheless, WSJ were merciless to ShapeShift, accusing the cryptoexchange for assisting the progress of illegal transactions. WSJ has also accentuated the liberal treatment of anonymity, repeatedly expressed by the chief executive at ShapeShift, Eric Voorhees. The paper uses his point of view to prove that the cryptoexchange is directly involved in money laundering.
Officials at ShapeShift, including Voorhees himself, criticized the accusations of the Wall Street Journal, claiming that the facts have been “cherry-picked” and that the amount of illegally traded funds using the exchange accounts only for 0.2% of the entire volume.