A person who leaked information and exposed tax-evaders and illegal tax avoidance at the multinational financial institution he worked in, has recently given the finger to the banks by lending his effort to increasing cryptocurrency awareness.
Herve Falciani, the former computer system analyst at banking goliath HSBC, is now promoting a cryptocurrency known as Taboow. The anti-fraud activist who is currently in Spain awaiting a court decision on whether he will be moved to Switzerland where he has just been condemned to a five-year prison sentence for industrial espionage is working with Spanish accomplices in the initiative.
In an announcement, Falciani stated, “Cryptocurrencies open finance to allow it to expand and not just remain in the hands of the few”.
The incident, which made Falciani a criminal of Switzerland, happened in 2009 when the secret bank documents that were stolen by him from the then finance minister of France, the current International Monetary Fund Managing Director, Christine Lagarde. The leak which was named the biggest in the history of banking contained account data having a place with around 130,000 wealthy clients of HSBC and as well as legal entities.
While the Swiss considered this a crime, Flaciani entered a cooperation deal with France with a view of solving a tax evasion inquiry involving French nationals who were utilizing the Swiss subsidiary of the financial services giant, HSBC Private Bank to launder money and evade taxes. A year ago in November HSBC consented to pay 300 million euros to settle the issue. Other countries that benefited from the leak included Argentina, Austria, Belgium and Spain. The latter managed to recover US$360 million in unpaid tax.
The development comes similarly as the world is marking ten years after the global financial crisis which was sparked by the excesses of the banking sector. The crisis is believed to have impacted Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, who inserted the newspaper headline “Chancellor on brink of the second bailout for banks” in the first block of bitcoin that was mined. This was in reference to the Bank of England’s plans to pump more money into troubled financial institutions in the U.K.
Besides his new gig promoting a cryptocurrency, Falciani has tried his hand at politics in Spain and this saw him vie for a post on a ticket of the anti-corruption X Party.