Chinese 'Spies' Used Wasabi Wallet to Try to Conceal Bitcoin Bribes, Elliptic Says

Analysis by the crypto analytics firm showed that all the bitcoin bribes originated from the coin mixing wallet.

AccessTimeIconOct 25, 2022 at 3:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 26, 2022 at 1:50 p.m. UTC

Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Guochun He and Zheng Wang, the two Chinese intelligence officers charged with obstructing justice for allegedly bribing a U.S. double agent with $61,000 in bitcoin, used coin mixing wallet Wasabi Wallet to try to cover their tracks, analytics firm Elliptic found.

“Elliptic’s analysis shows that all of the bitcoin bribe payments made by the Chinese intelligence agents originated from Wasabi Wallet,” Elliptic said.

Wasabi makes use of controversial technology known as CoinJoin, which mixes bitcoin from multiple transactions to try to obscure its ownership.

Elliptic has shown in the past that Wasabi was used to try to launder bitcoin (BTC) from high-profile hacks of Twitter, as well as of crypto exchanges Bitfinex and KuCoin.

The two Chinese officers are charged with seeking to gain confidential information in a federal investigation into the practices of what is believed to be Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies.

They repeatedly referred to the use of bitcoin as a “safe” method of making the bribery payments, according to the indictment.

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Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.