This morning, millionaire broker and well-known Bitcoin skeptic Peter Schiff woke up to find that his bank was being scrutinized again due to an international criminal investigation.
According to reports in the Australian newspaper The Age and The New York TimesThe J5 – a joint task force of the tax authorities of the major Western governments, convened after the Panama Papers were released in the bombshell – has investigated “hundreds” of accounts with the Puerto Rico-based ship Euro Pacific Bank for tax evasion and other financial crimes.
The reports detail what appears to be a strangely incompetent organization responsible for harboring the fortunes of a group of seedy businessmen and criminals. Employees hired after a quick Google search screening were hired to attract clients like Simon Antequetil, the well-known Australian fraud and tax avoidance maestro.
The reports also shed light on how the Euro-Pacific may have impacted public holdings of ship’s favorite gold.
Former Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigator John Chevis discovered in 2017 that the Western Australian government’s Perth Mint had a relationship with Euro Pacific.
“I was very surprised,” Chevis told The Age. “I think there is a significant risk that some of the gold that Euro Pacific Bank customers hold in the Perth Mint could be used by criminals in other parts of the world.”
In an interview with The Age last month, Schiff denied Euro Pacific’s wrongdoing, saying the bank “rejects far more accounts than we approve because our compliance is so strict”.
“It has nothing to do with reality,” he said of the allegations.
He later stormed out of the interview.
In the middle of the reports, however, there is an important detail that could shed light on why Schiff criticized the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, so virulently.
From the age:
“The bank’s security was also an issue […] Once the Russians tried to blackmail the bank for a ransom of 1,000 bitcoins worth millions of dollars. “
While Schiff criticized Bitcoin back in 2013, the blackmail scheme attempted could explain why he’s been particularly vocal lately, particularly in a Twitter spat with Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss.
Schiff has also shown a history of paranoia regarding hacks, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency-related hacks. In July, Schiff suspected that an American teenager’s hack of multiple Twitter accounts could be a “harbinger” of a Bitcoin hack, and in April he tweeted about “the potential for technological improvements to hack the blockchain and counterfeit Bitcoin “.
Despite Schiff’s concerns about the possible hacking of the Bitcoin blockchain, there is no equivalent to iron pyrite in the world of digital assets. Unless we count BSV.