What threat did the American authorities see in crypto exchanges in Pavel Durov's messenger and how such services work?
Telegram and secret chats in it are a channel of almost anonymous communication, which can be used by attackers, and in the future they can conduct two-way settlements there, hiding traces of cybercrimes, they are confident in the US Internal Revenue Service. Special agent Chris Janchevski explained to Decrypt that his department is concerned about cases of possible money laundering with the help of exchangers in Telegram.
Janczewski added that people conducting exchange transactions of dubious origins act like a network. As an example, an IRS representative cited Chinese users who operate through formally unrelated accounts on crypto exchanges with a loyal approach to KYC. As a result, unrelated transactions go through the blockchain and fiat gateways of exchanges.
Telegram exchangers are of interest to the IRS as part of the fight against money laundering. Yanchevsky described how last year, two Chinese citizens through Telegram helped launder $ 105 million in cryptocurrencies that had previously been stolen by the North Korean government. The funds were allegedly transferred to Chinese bank accounts, iTunes gift cards and used on at least one American exchange.
Tax on the tail
The IRS is paying more attention to crypto regulation this year than before. Perhaps this is due to the growing interest of American regulators in digital assets. In May, the administration of US President Joe Biden unveiled a new tax plan that would require companies carrying out cryptocurrency transactions of $ 10,000 or more to report them to the IRS.
On June 8, during a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee, the head of the US Internal Revenue Service, Charles Rettig, said that his department needed to receive more powers from the US Congress to control cryptocurrency transactions.
Charles Rettig also noted that there are already more than 8.6 thousand crypto-exchanges in the world, many of which "remain off the radar" for the IRS. According to the official, the department needs "additional tools" and "additional resources."
How exchangers work in Telegram
There are several types of Telegram exchangers:
Firstly, these are bots that work like centralized exchangers. Telegram applications of this kind have been actively working already during the crypto boom in 2017.
In terms of their mechanics, such Telegram bots are similar to other p2p platforms. The user has his own crypto wallet built into the bot infrastructure, where the cryptocurrency will be received upon purchase. The user selects the type of exchange operation and the seller based on his rating. The advantages of such bots are that the exchange can be carried out quickly without leaving the messenger.
Unfortunately, scammers create their own exchangers, or clones of existing Telegram bots. Because of this, buying cryptocurrency with such bots remains a relatively unreliable method.
Another option is over-the-counter (OTC) secret chats. It has its own system of recommendations and reviews. Of course, there is also a risk of becoming a victim of fraud.
Taking into account the fact that the popularity of OTC trading is only growing and crypto exchanges create special sections for it in their applications, its volumes are growing in Telegram as well.