Synthetic ‘Fake’ ID’s Can Buy Crypto?

How does the black market of KYC work, and what it takes to fool video-verification? Feat. Anna Baydakova

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This week, “Opinionated” hosts Ben Schiller, Anna Baydakova and Danny Nelson are discussing Anna’s investigative piece on the black market of “verified” accounts on crypto exchanges and payment apps.

Know-Your-Customer (KYC) at crypto exchanges might be a painstaking process for users but there is a way to avoid all the troubles by simply buying a verified account in someone else’s name, Anna’s investigation found.

Online forums and Telegram groups where people buy and sell accounts registered to other people count thousands of members and thrive all over the world. Accounts on virtually any exchange, from Huobi to Coinbase Pro, services from Paxful to BlockFi and apps like CashApp, Wirex and Revolut – the offerings are abundant.

The price tag, somewhere between $50 and $500 for an account, makes such accounts a cheap and disposable tool for taxation avoidance, money laundering and getting around sanctions and other restrictions.

How does the black market of KYC work, what it takes to fool video-verification and what crypto exchanges and payment services are doing about this all? Listen to Ben, Danny and Anna dive into the life of underground black markets and read Anna’s piece, For $200, You Can Trade Crypto With a Fake ID.

This episode was produced, announced and edited by Michele Musso. Our theme song is by Elision.