Fundamental analysis

US Justice Department files $60 million lawsuit against Helix’s founder

Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently trading in a narrow sideways channel without any clear trend. In the meantime, the US Justice Department has filed a $60 million lawsuit against Larry Harmon, the former operator of a Bitcoin mixing service Helix. He was targeted by US law enforcement in 2020.

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The authorities have accused Harmon of running an unlicenced money transfer service which violated the Bank Secrecy Act. The US Justice Department has sued Larry Harmon, seeking to recover the $60 million fine placed on him earlier. According to Reuters and FinCEN, Harmon operated an unlicensed money-transmitting business which allowed users to send and exchange virtual currencies anonymously. In 2021, Harmon reportedly pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge and said he would cooperate with federal authorities.

Helix’s founder filed an appeal with the US District Court in 2021, claiming that he never intended to violate the law. He insisted if he had known in 2014 — when he started Helix’s operations — that operating a bitcoin transaction tumbler was illegal, he never would have done it. However, he was unsuccessful. The Helix mixer used a “double-blind system”, meaning the at Harmon did not know how much BTC was sent through the service. Reports say that neither Harmon’s lawyer nor the representative of FinCEN had responded to media inquiries concerning the DOJ’s decision to sue.

Regarding the criminal case against Harmon, the founder of Helix has agreed to pay $311,000 as restitution. The report stated that Harmon’s sentencing had been deferred pending his cooperation with the US government.

Mixing platforms are often used to launder money, including stolen crypto assets. US authorities have cracked down on such services lately. Earlier, TornadoCash was put on the SDN blacklist by the US government following accusations of facilitating money laundering.

On the technical side, Bitcoin has recouped losses it sustained during an earlier slump. The market is now balanced once again, suggesting that risk appetite of investors is low. The key level for BTC at this point is the resistance at $19,500. The cryptocurrency needs to regain this level to begin a new upward correction. If BTC breaks above this level, it would then need to break through the resistance at $20,540 and $21,410. If BTC ends up under increased pressure, which is quite possible, bulls would need to defend the support levels of $19,100 and $18,625. A breakout below these levels would quickly push the instrument back towards the lower boundary of the sideways channel at $18,100, opening the way towards $17,580.

Ethereum has rebounded from the strong support level of $1,275 upwards and is currently moving sideways. A breakout through $1,275 could change the situation in the market significantly. However, ETH would need to settle above $1,343 to stabilize the situation. From there, Ethereum could rise towards $1,402 and $1,457, with more distant targets being $1,504 and $1,550. Continuing pressure on the instrument and a breakout below $1,275 could send the instrument down towards the support at $1,210. If ETH breaks through this level, it would slide down to $1,150, where major market players would come into play once again.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com


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