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.

Billionaire Tim Draper: Only Criminals Will Use Fiat Money, As Cryptos Will Hit Mainstream in Next Few Years

Legendary billionaire venture capitalist, Tim Draper has predicted that in the next five years, fiat currencies will only be used by those involved in illicit activities.

According to the well-known bitcoin (BTC) bull, cryptocurrencies will achieve mainstream adoption within the next few years - while fiat money will mostly be used by criminals. Draper’s comments came during an interview (on February 18th) with Fox Business in which he told the financial news outlet that cryptocurrency transactions can be tracked easily through block explorers.

Draper, who acquired 30,000 bitcoins during a US Marshals Service auction (after they had been seized from Silk Road’s black markets), remarked:

The criminals will still want to operate with cash, because they catch everybody who is trying to use Bitcoin.

Last year in August, an agent working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had said that it was easier for her department to monitor cryptocurrency transactions - when compared to illegal deals conducted using fiat money. The agent had explained that block explorers provide advanced tools which allow government agencies to accurately track crypto transactions on the blockchain.

During his latest interview, Draper also mentioned that he thinks the fiat money in his bank account is not as secure as his cryptocurrency holdings. According to the business tycoon: 

My bank is constantly under a hack attack.

"A Lot" Of Money Invested In Digital Assets

However, Draper pointed out that the Bitcoin blockchain is highly secure - as nobody has been able to hack it. Going on to compare liquidating bitcoin with exchanging gold for shells, the entrepreneur argued that cryptocurrencies would play a key role in the future economy. Although Draper did not disclose exactly how much of his investments are allocated to digital assets, he said “a lot” of his portfolio was focused on cryptocurrencies.

Notably, Draper is not the only prominent investor who has expressed confidence in crypto-based investments. Jeremy Gardner, the co-founder of Augur, a decentralized prediction markets platform, has also said that the fiat-based financial system can more easily be exploited (compared to crypto) by those involved in illegal activities.

Draper Sticks To His $250,000 BTC Price Prediction

In November 2018, Tim Draper reaffirmed his stance that he believes the bitcoin price will skyrocket to $250,000 by 2022. Draper, who is the founder venture capital firm Draper Associates, stated during a panel discussion on November 6: 

Believe it, it’s going to happen – they’re going to think you’re crazy but believe it, it’s happening, it’s going to be awesome!

Draper’s remarks were in reference to the price of bitcoin reaching a quarter of a million dollars in the next 3 years. After recording all-time highs of nearly $20,000 on December 17th, 2017, bitcoin’s value has dropped considerably to currently below $4,000 - according to CryptoCompare data.