Peter McCormack, the host of a cryptocurrency podcast called ‘What Bitcoin Did,’ has paused advertisements for DropBit, an app associated with Larry Dean Harmon. Harmon, a U.S. resident, was recently charged with money laundering on the dark web platform, AlphaBay.
DropBit was developed by Coin Ninja, of which Harmon is the CEO. McCormack commented on the arrest on Twitter and asked others for their thoughts on the matter.
1/ Re: Dropbit…
…CEO Larry Harmon has been arrested and is currently in Youngstown Ohio federal jail.
– Conspiracy to launder money instruments
– Operating an unlicensed money transmitting business
He faces up to 30 years.
— Peter McCormack
(@PeterMcCormack) February 13, 2020
Larry Dean Harmon, a resident of Ohio, has been officially charged by a federal court of running a darknet operation, according to local media outlets. Harmon was allegedly involved in laundering more than $300 million worth of cryptocurrency on the dark web platform AlphaBay, which shut down in 2017. At today’s prices, that sum would be the equivalent of $3.7 billion.
New Methods of Money Laundering
Harmon’s operation, which was called Helix, scrambled Bitcoin transactions to make them untraceable, according to the report. Helix was a mixing service, a popular means of enhancing privacy, that made it difficult to trace the origin of a transaction. The total number of bitcoins that were processed is said to be 354,468, an enormous sum in today’s market.
Harmon owns two businesses, Coin Ninja and Harmon Web Innovations, the assets of which are believed to have been frozen.
Harmon is now in federal custody and could face up to 30 years in prison.
Bitcoin was Once the Go-To Payment Means on Dark Web Marketplaces
Bitcoin has been a popular choice of payment on several dark web marketplaces, most notably Silk Road. Like AlphaBay, Silk Road was a popular destination for those looking to anonymously buy illegal substances, weapons, and documents.
Dark web operators found the convenience of Bitcoin made it an ideal choice for payment. This has made life a little difficult for Bitcoin, which for a few years had to shake off the association with illicit activities on the dark web.