Bitcoin one step closer to being regulated in Australia under new anti-money laundering laws - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 84%. (I'm a bot)
Bitcoin is one step closer to being regulated in Australia, with Parliament expected to this week vote on a bill to strengthen the nation's anti-money laundering laws. If the new laws are passed, the financial intelligence regulator AUSTRAC will be given new powers to police digital currency exchanges - where traders buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. "Virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, are increasingly being used by serious and organised crime groups," ACIC said in its report on Australian organised crime, released in August. The buying and selling of Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies is currently unregulated in Australia due to a loophole in existing laws. There is a "Legacy stigma" with digital currencies, and that people unfortunately associate Bitcoin with crime, Independent Reserve's director Lasanka Perera said. The imposition of new regulations on digital currency exchanges may also impose high entry barriers to new entrants.
Disclaimer: I am not and have never been affiliated with any of the mentioned parties in a private or professional matter. Presumably in an attempt to smear a local competitor, Hayden Otto inadvertently publishes irrefutable on-chain proof that he excluded non-BCH retail revenue to shape the "BCH #1 in Australia" narrative.
Scroll down to "Proof of exclusion" if you are tired of the drama recap.
Scroll down to "TLDR" if you want a summary.
In September 2019, BitcoinBCH.com started publishing so called monthly "reports" about crypto retail payments in Australia. They claimed that ~90% of Australia's crypto retail revenue is processed via their own HULA system and that ~92% of all crypto retail revenue happens in BCH. They are aggregating two data sources to come up with this claim. One is TravelByBit (TBB) who publishes their PoS transactions (BTC, LN, ETH, BNB, DASH, BCH) live on a ticker. The other source is HULA, a newly introduced POS system (BCH only) and direct competitor to TBB run by BitcoinBCH.com - the same company who created the report. Despite being on-chain their transactions are private, not published and not verifiable by third parties outside BitcoinBCH.com Two things stood out in the "reports", noted by multiple users (including vocal BCH proponents):
The non-BCH parts must have tx excluded and the report neglects to mention it (the total in their TBB analysis does not match what is reported on the TBB website.)
The BCH part has outliers included (e.g. BCH city conference in September with 35x the daily average)
Hayden Otto's reaction
In direct response to me publishing these findings on btc, Hayden Otto - an employee at BitcoinBCH.com and the author of the report who also happens to be a moderator of /BitcoinCash - banned me immediately from said sub (source). In subsequent discussion (which repeated for every monthly "report" which was flawed in the same ways as described above), Hayden responded using the same tactics: "No data was removed"
"The guy is straight out lying. There is guaranteed no missing tx as the data was collected directly from the source." (source)
"Only data I considered non-retail was removed"
"I also had these data points and went through them to remove non-retail transactions, on both TravelbyBit and HULA." (source)
He admits to have removed non-BCH tx by "Game Ranger" because he considers them non-retail (source). He also implies they might be involved in money laundering and that TBB might fail their AML obligations in processing Game Ranger's transactions (source). The report does not mention any data being excluded at all and he still fails to explain why several businesses that are clearly retail (e.g. restaurants, cafes, markets) had tx excluded (source). "You are too late to prove I altered the data"
"[...] I recorded [the data] manually from https://travelbybit.com/stats/ over the month of September. The website only shows transactions from the last 7 days and then they disappear. No way for anyone to access stats beyond that." (source)
Proof of exclusion
I published raw data as extracted from the TBB site after each report for comparison. Hayden responded that I made those numbers up and that I was pulling numbers out of my ass. Since he was under the impression that
"The website only shows transactions from the last 7 days and then they disappear. No way for anyone to access stats beyond that." (source)
he felt confident to claim that I would be
unable to provide a source for the [missing] data and/or prove that that data was not already included in the report. (source)
Luckily for us Hayden Otto seems to dislike his competitor TravelByBit so much that he attempted to reframe Bitcoin's RBF feature as a vulnerability specific to TBB PoS system (source). While doublespending a merchant using the TBB PoS he wanted to prove that the merchant successfully registered the purchase as complete and thus exposed that the PoS sales history of TBB's merchants are available to the public (source), in his own words:
"You can literally access it from a public URL in the Web browser. There is no login or anything required, just type in the name of the merchant." (source)
As of yet it is unclear if this is intentional by TBB or if Hayden Ottos followed the rules of responsible disclosure before publishing this kind of data leak. As it happens, those sale histories do not only include the merchant and time of purchases, they even include the address the funds were sent to (in case of on-chain payments). This gives us an easy method to prove that the purchases from the TBB website missing in the reports belong to a specific retail business and actually happened - something that is impossible to prove for the alleged HULA txs. In order to make it easier for you to verify it yourself, we'll focus on a single day in the dataset, September 17th, 2019 as an example:
Hayden Otto's report claims 20 tx and $713.00 in total for that day (source)
The TBB website listed 40 tx and a total of $1032.90 (daily summary)
Paste the associated crypto on-chain address 17MrHiRcKzCyuKPtvtn7iZhAZxydX8raU9 in a blockchain explorer of your choice, e.g like this. This proves that a transfer of funds has actually happened.
I let software aggregate the TBB statistics with the public sale histories and you'll find at the bottom of this post a table with the on-chain addresses conveniently linked to blockchain explorers for our example date. The total of all 40 tx is $1032.90 instead of the $713.00 reported by Hayden. 17 tx of those have a corresponding on-chain address and thus have undeniable proof of $758.10. Of the remaining 23, 22 are on Lightning and one had no merchant history available. This is just for a single day, here is a comparison for the whole month.
TBB wo. Game Ranger
TBB according to Hayden
The usual shills will respond in a predictive manner: The data must be fake even though its proof is on-chain, I would need to provide more data but HULA can be trusted without any proof, if you include outliers BCH comes out ahead, yada, yada. But this is not important. I am not here to convince them and this post doesn't aim to. The tx numbers we are talking about are less than 0.005% of Bitcoin's global volume. If you can increase adoption in your area by 100% by just buying 2 coffees more per day you get a rough idea about how irrelevant the numbers are in comparison. What is relevant though and what this post aims to highlight is that BitcoinBCH.com and the media outlets around news.bitcoin.com flooding you with the BCH #1 narrative are playing dirty. They feel justified because they feel that Bitcoin/Core/Blockstream is playing dirty as well. I am not here to judge that but you as a reader of this sub should be aware that this is happening and that you are the target. When BitcoinBCH.com excludes $1,000 Bitcoin tx because of high value but includes $15,000 BCH tx because they are made by "professionals", you should be sceptical. When BitcoinBCH.com excludes game developers, travel businesses or craftsmen accepting Bitcoin because they don't have a physical store but include a lawyer practice accepting BCH, you should be sceptical. When BitcoinBCH.com excludes restaurants, bars and supermarkets accepting Bitcoin and when pressed reiterate that they excluded non-retail businesses without ever explaning why a restaurant shouldn't be considered reatil, you should be sceptical. When BitcoinBCH.com claims the reports have been audited but omit that the data acquisition was not part of the audit, you should be sceptical. I expect that BitcoinBCH.com will stop removing transactions from TBB for their reports now that it has been shown that their exclusion can be provably uncovered. I also expect that HULA's BCH numbers will rise accordingly to maintain a similar difference. Hayden Otto assumed that nobody could cross-check the TBB data. He was wrong. Nobody will be able to disprove his claims when HULA's BCH numbers rise as he continues to refuse their release. You should treat his claims accordingly. As usual, do your own research and draw your own conclusion. Sorry for the long read.
BitcoinBCH.com claimed no transactions were removed from the TBB dataset in their BCH #1 reports and that is impossible to prove the opposite.
Hayden Otto's reveals in a double spend attempt that a TBB merchant's sale history can be accessed publicly including the merchant's on-chain addresses.
This table shows 40 tx listed on the TBB site on sep 17th, including their on-chain addresses where applicable.
The BitcoinBCH.com report lists only 20 tx for the same day.
Woman indicted: First cyber crime case in Australia
The first case of cybercrime in Australia concerns the illegal exchange of cash in cryptocurrency. The crime commissioner of the Cybercrime Department said the arrest was the first of many.
Australia saw the first registered case of cybercrime related to cryptocurrency. A woman with an unknown identity was charged with illegally exchanging cash for Bitcoin . The 52-year-old suspect was picked up and arrested at a Burwood mall yesterday. She is accused of being a member of a syndicate that is making a profit by trafficking Bitcoin illegally. The New South Wales (NSW) police confiscated AUD $ 60,000 in cash and AUD $ 56,694.43 from Bitcoin. The suspect was charged in three cases with knowingly dealing with the proceeds of the crime and violating a digital currency exchange rule. The investigation into the woman began in November 2018, when the Strike Force Kerriwah was used by investigators from the State Crime Command's Cybercrime Department to investigate a nationwide Internet money laundering syndicate. The main purpose of this syndicate was to illegally exchange cash for cryptocurrency. As part of the investigation, the crime commissioner for cybercrime, Matthew Craft, claims that the crypto wallet used by those involved has traded 326 bitoin since 2017. "That's equivalent to over $ 5 million [AUD] today - a significant amount of Bitcoin considering that it is not a registered exchange for digital currency exchange," said Craft. Craft also reported that a $ 18,000 AUD, as well as phones, smartphones and computers, were seized yesterday during a house search in Hurstville. "This is believed to be the first investigation into unregistered crypto exchanges in Australia and law enforcement [can] begin," said the commissioner for crime. It is against Australian law to offer digital currency exchange services without registration. Possible consequences of non-compliance include a civil penalty order, penalties, enforceable commitments, notices of violations, and instructions to remedy them.
An Australian woman was arrested by police at a Sydney shopping center on May 1 after allegedly selling Bitcoin for 60,000 Australian dollars ($38,800) in cash. According to a report from Daily Mail Australia, the woman is accused of having run a money laundering syndicate in the country since 2017. An Australian woman was arrested by police at a Sydney shopping centre on May 1, after allegedly selling Bitcoin (BTC) for 60,000 Australian dollars ($38,800) in cash. According to a report from Daily Mail Australia, the woman is accused of having run a money laundering syndicate in the country since 2017.Caught red-handedDuring the arrest of the... Australian Woman Arrested in 'Cash for Bitcoin' Money Laundering Sting An Australian woman was arrested by police at a Sydney shopping centre on May 1, after allegedly selling Bitcoin (BTC) for An Australian woman was arrested by police at a Sydney shopping center on May 1 after allegedly selling Bitcoin for 60,000 Australian dollars ($38,800) in cash.According to a report from Daily Mail Australia, the woman is accused of having run a money laundering syndicate in the country since 2017. Caught red-handed Australian Woman Accused of Money Laundering Through Illegal Bitcoin Exchange An unidentified woman has been charged with what is said to be the first case of its kind down under involving Bitcoin . 14 BTC & 95,000 Free Spins for every player, only in mBitcasino’s Exotic Crypto Paradise!
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