Federal Authorities Raid Nonprofit Organization Over ‘Unauthorized Trading of Bitcoin’

Francisco Memoria

A nonprofit organization that was created back in 1994 and provided people workspaces, low-cost services, and acted as an incubator for local innovation, has recently been raided by the for “unauthorized trading of bitcoin.”

According to WoodTV the non-profit organization, the National Science Institute – previously known as the Geek Group - has been around since 1994 but on December 21 of last year saw the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Homeland Security Agency raid its offices and seize computers, hard drives, and other equipment.

This, according to the president of the National Science Institute Chris Boden, as the group was “commercially trading in crypto-currency without proper authorization.” The non-profit organization has shut down 10 days after the raid occurred.

Boden took the lame, and added he may now face federal prison and legal expenses that he believes may go up to $100,000. While the raid occurred last month, the cause has only now been known. Through a live stream, Boden said:

I did a stupid thing, I made a bad decision, so I’m going to pay for it.

The assets that belonged to the non-profit organization are now set to be sold off. What charges Boden may be facing is, at press time, unclear. WoodTV contacted Federal officials, which declined to comment.

Notably, this is one of the first cases in which authorities raided an organization dealing with cryptocurrencies that wasn’t scamming its users. Back in May of last year, South Korean authorities raided UPbit over suspicion the exchange committed fraud.

U.S. Lawmakers to Focus on Discussing Facebook's Libra on Swiss Visit

Michael LaVere
  • US Lawmakers traveling to Switzerland to meet with data protection agency overseeing Facebook's Libra. 
  • Congresswoman Walters, who previously called for a halt to Libra, will be heading up the group.

A group of US lawmakers are planning a visit to Switzerland in order to better understand the digital currency project being developed by Facebook. 

US Lawmakers Traveling to Switzerland

According to a report by Bloomberg on Aug. 18, six US lawmakers will hold a meeting with the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) Adrian Lobsiger. The group will be led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who was critical of Facebook’s digital currency during the Libra hearings held in July. 

In addition to making the trip to Switzerland, Walters serves as Chairwoman of the US House Committee on Financial Services. Walter issued a strong statement against the digital currency last month, asking Facebook to halt Libra. 

She said in the statement, 

Regulators should see this as a wake-up call to get serious about the privacy and national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies. Given the company's troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action.

David Marcus, Facebook’s blockchain head, previously told Congress that FDPIC would be overseeing data protection for libra. The US lawmakers appear intent on getting to the source of the matter with their trip to Switzerland.