European police has busted a major illegal online streaming business dealing in cryptos that had reportedly been running for the past five years.
On June 10 Bloomberg reported that Europol conducted around 15 house searches, arresting over 11 people while successfully taking down 50 servers across nine countries.
The European law enforcement agency claimed to have found cryptocurrencies, property, jewelry, luxury cars, and cash worth $5.4 million from the business owners.
An additional of $1.25 million were frozen in several bank accounts.
The streaming ring was a highly organized illegal business providing its services to more than 2 million customers while boasted having of an exclusive customer support team and high standards of quality control.
The group which mainly operated out of Spain, offered more than 40,000 channels, movies, documentaries, and other forms of content.
Over the five years of operation, they received almost $17 million in payments through PayPal, wire transfers and also cryptocurrencies.
As online media streaming is reaching its new highs, so also illegal streaming and piracy of copyrighted content.
ABI Research reported that almost 17% of the worldwide online content streaming population streams content illegally. This is primarily due to major streaming platforms such as Netflix and Walt Disney Co. charging premium fees for their services.
Bloomberg noted that the threat will only grow if these companies “gradually raise prices in coming years to capitalize on their fast-growing subscriber bases.”
Media Research analyst Tim Mulligan added:
“The background threat of piracy means that the subscription video-on-demand services will have the ongoing threat of piracy as a pricing factor.”