A crypto wallet attributed to the failed BTC-e linked to the 2014 Mt. Gox hack moved 10,000 Bitcoin, now worth over $165 million, to a group of personal wallets, exchanges, and other services on November 23rd.
A report by Chainalysis suggested that the funds’ movement marks the largest withdrawal by the Russia-focused cryptocurrency exchange – BTC-e’s controllers. The US authorities ceased its operations in 2017 due to its role in laundering funds associated with other forms of cybercrime, including crypto stolen in the 2014 Mt. Gox exchange hack.
BTC-e and another exchange called WEX, believed to be the successor entity, sent small amounts of Bitcoin to a Russian electronic payments platform – Webmoney – on October 26th. Over two weeks later, BTC-e conducted a test payment out of its wallet before moving nearly 100 Bitcoin indirectly to an exchange on November 21.
According to the blockchain analysis company, around 9.950 BTC are currently being held in personal wallets of the total sent in the last several days. The rest of the funds were found to have been moved through a series of intermediaries to four deposit addresses at two large exchanges.
Chainalysis believes a Russian exchange may have acted as an intermediary to launder this BTC-e money.
Blockchain analytics firm CryptoQuant co-founder and CEO Ki Young Ju also confirmed the illicit transfer of funds. He also added that 65 BTC was moved to HitBTC and advised the crypto exchange to suspend the account.
7-year-old 10,000 $BTC moved today.
No surprise, it’s from criminals, like most of the old Bitcoins. It’s the BTC-e exchange wallet related to the 2014 Mt. Gox hack.
They sent 65 BTC to @hitbtc a few hours ago, so it’s not a gov auction or something.https://t.co/6LnCxFAJfX https://t.co/YdPrvJafxY pic.twitter.com/Sp2higUqbq
— Ki Young Ju (@ki_young_ju) November 24, 2022
For the uninitiated, BTC-e was shut down, and its funds were seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2017. Despite this, it still held a significant amount of Bitcoin. A year later, it transferred more than 30,000 BTC out of its service wallet.
Alexander Vinnik is alleged to be the owner and operator of the BTC-e. The Russian national is also accused of large-scale money laundering through the now-defunct trading platform and other crimes.
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