Britain’s Tax Agency Offering Contract for Tech to Combat Crypto Tax Evasion

The technology, which Her Majesty’s Revenue Customs (HMRC) posted on Jan. 17 in an open contract call worth 100,000 pounds sterling, should gather intelligence through cluster analysis.

The HMRC’s Cybercrime team hopes this will help them correlate crypto-asset transactions with service providers.  

Britain’s tax agency is inviting contractors to provide a tech tool to help Britain’s tax agency combat crypto cybercriminals.

What the agency wants

As opposed to free online tools and human analysis that exist, HMRC reportedly believes a commercial product would help the agency illuminate the blind spots that currently allow criminal activity to fester.

HMRC wants to track and analyze, at a minimum, the big coins and, ideally, privacy tokens Monero, Zcash, and Dash – which have been notoriously difficult for regulators to track.

Cybercrimes evolve

The Cybercrime team was created to shield Britain’s tax revenue from attempted fraud. Specifically, HMRC’s repayment system is vulnerable to complex and clever criminality –  hacking, malicious software (malware), and distributed denial of service are leading offenders. Phishing scams are most notable and have evolved from email to text form.

So-called “SMiSHing” attempts work because people are readily responsive to HMRC and the criminal messages appear credible. Dedicated efforts have helped the Cybercrime team progress from the 16th “most phished brand globally” to the 146th in 2018.

Still, as law enforcement and regulatory efforts evolve, as Cointelegraph has reported in the case of Britain, so do the criminals they seek to thwart.

Last week, Cointelegraph reported on the rise of terrorist operations more adroitly utilizing cryptocurrency to fund operations. U.S.-based Chainalysis identified Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (AQB), Hamas’s military arm and noted terrorist organization, as the first confirmed case of terrorists using cryptocurrency to aid their activity.

Chainalysis recently tracked $2.8 billion in Bitcoin from criminal enterprises through exchanges.

Bitcoin News Summary – October 21, 2019

It was not a good week for Facebook’s Libra project – again. Hotel reservation company, Booking.com, joined PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard to become the 7th major company to exit the project. Furthermore, a US Congressman said Facebook should drop Libra and instead implement Bitcoin. Warren Davidson criticized Facebook’s speech filters and feared similar filters on transactions.

The tax haven island of Bermuda is set to accept US Dollar-pegged Stablecoin, USDC, for tax payments. USDC is issued by the major US exchanges, Coinbase and Circle. Bermuda is known for its lenient approach to crypto taxation and legislation and now becomes the first nation to accept a stablecoin for tax payments.

Binance, the largest crypto-to-crypto exchange brought in approximately $186 million in profits in Q3; up 56% from Q2. Every quarter Binance burns BNB worth 20% of its quarterly profits. During the 9th burn, Binance sent 2 million BNB valued at 36 million USD to an inaccessible address. Cumulatively, the exchange has made more than $1 billion in a little over two years of existence.

The supply of Bitcoin reached 18 million BTC out of the maximum of 21 million. This means that over 85% of Bitcoin’s total supply has been issued. It’s expected to take another 120 years before all coins are mined.

And finally, Oxford University Press has added the term “satoshi” to their famous dictionary. The word “Bitcoin” was added in 2014.

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