Binance’s Link with Notorious ‘Bitzlato Exchange’ Identified
A few weeks ago, International Agencies successfully busted the notorious Russian-rooted crypto exchange ‘Bitzlato’. Even the founder of Bitzlato was captured and has been the subject matter of interrogation by law enforcement agencies.
The inquiry against the exchange is a subject matter of an ongoing investigation in which a number of crucial facts have been unearthed.
One of the shocking facts unveiled recently by investigating authorities involves the name of the world’s leading crypto platform i.e. Binance.
During the investigation, it emerged that Binance had facilitated the exchange in processing funds exceeding $346 Million.
Bitzlato Processed Nearly a Billion Dollars without Getting Noticed
Prior to its busting, Bitzlato was carefully conducting its illegal business without getting noticed by worldwide authorities.
As per the information, the firm had successfully processed nearly a billion dollars i.e. more than $700 Million.
Only a specific segment of society knew of this platform which community consisted of international crooks, cybercriminals, crypto hackers, money launderers, etc.
However, the activities of the exchange were highlighted by the authorities in the US who then went after the firm. Consequently, authorities in the US-supplied information to European counterparts, and Bitzlato was taken down successfully.
Cracking down Led to the Arrest of Bitzlato’s Founder
A week ago, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) made an announcement in which it told capturing of Bitzlato’s co-founder, Anatoly Legkodymov.
Legkodymov was also the majority shareholder of the criminal firm tough was Russian but obtained citizenship in China.
The founder had long surrendered his Russian nationality and was a permanent resident of China. He was recently visiting Miami, USA, from where he was eventually taken down and put in judicial custody for further investigation.
The Financial Crime wing in the US Treasury stated pointed out that the investigation revealed names of several crypto platforms that worked with Bitzlato.
The crime wing said that they unearthed only Binance amongst the top crypto firms whose connection with Bitzlato was identified.
The department further revealed that they found a record of Binance transacting over $346 Million with the infamous ‘Bitzlato’.
They further said that the processed amount was not in one go but an overall figure of multiple transactions.
Expansion of Investigation
Bitzlato was a prevalent crypto exchange amongst Russian-speaking criminals, however, the firm was originally a Hong Kong registered entity.
DOJ said that further names of global entities have surfaced during the investigation but haven’t been disclosed for investigation purposes.
However, the Department was of the view that it shall soon be getting in touch with a number of financial institutions.
DOJ said that it will ensure that financial institutions stop offering services to entities found transacting with Bitzlato.
Chainalysis, an independent Blockchain analysis entity, published data showing Binance transacting 20k units of Bitcoins on behalf of the platform.
As per today’s Bitcoin exchange rates, Binance transacted Bitcoins worth more than $345 Million for the criminal firm. According to Chainalysis, Binance executed these transactions in the mid of 2018.
In the same period, Binance also received Bitcoins worth more than $175 Million from Bitzlato.
So far no direction accusations or allegations have been made against Binance. However, the future may come out differently for Binance if the investigation reveals otherwise.
Yet Binance has gone into a ‘defense mood’ soon after its name emerged and linked with Bitzlato.
The firm said that Binance was responsible for supplying information with regard to Bitzlato directly to law enforcement agencies.
It further claimed that Binance was in fact instrumental in aiding the authorities in identifying activities of Bitzlato.
However, none within Binance had made any comment on Binance’s receiving and sending Bitcoins from/to Bitzlato.
There are rumors which suggest that Binance and other trading platforms were closely linked with Bitzlato.
Reuters, however, published a news item suggesting it there is no commendable evidence against Binance revealing Binance’s connection with Bitzlato.
It may be noted however that Binance is already under investigation in the US for allegations of money laundering and regulatory compliance.