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$450 million worth of lost cryptocurrency from the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange WEX may have been transferred to a fund belonging to Russian intelligence agency the Federal Security Bureau (FSB), according to an investigation by the BBC’s Russian Service published on Nov. 15.

The BBC’s recent investigation into the BTC-e crypto exchange case, in which co-founder Alexander Vinnik stands accused of fraud and laundering as much as $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) over the course of six years, has revealed new details which allegedly connect lost customer funds to the FSB.

Demands to hand over crypto assets to the FSB

The BBC retrieved audio files that allegedly connect a person named Anton — supposedly former FSB officer Anton Nemkin — with Aleksey Bilyuchenko, a co-founder of BTC-e, and Konstantin Malofeyev, who was purportedly behind the sale of WEX, a spin-off of troubled BTC-e.

During a business meeting in 2018, Anton allegedly requested that Bilyuchenko hand the cold wallets containing crypto assets of WEX over to him. Following the purported handover, Bilyuchenko was delivered to an FSB department in Moscow, where several plainclothes officers questioned him about WEX operations.

The following day, Anton allegedly demanded that Bilyuchenko passed on all cryptocurrency stored in WEX’s wallets, stating that the assets will be given to the “fund of FSB of Russia.” At the time, the wallets contained $450 million worth cryptocurrency, part of which belonged to the exchange’s customers.

Bilyuchenko eventually agreed to transfer the aforementioned amount. The data from Blockchain.com and Explorer.Litecoin.net indicated that 30,000 BTC and 700,000 Litecoins (LTC) were transferred from the aforementioned wallets — equivalent to $350 million at the time.

Other allegations against associated parties

In July, Dmitri Vasilyev, former CEO of WEX, was arrested in Italy. In April 2019, Vasilyev became the subject of a criminal investigation by the police department in Kazakh city Almaty, as the alleged suspect was charged with defrauding a local investor in the amount of $20,000 through WEX exchange.

That same month, United States prosecutors filed a complaint against BTC-e and Vinnik. Per the filing, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) determined civil penalties for BTC-e and Vinnik last year, who face fines of over $88 million and $12 million, respectively.

The filing stated outright that BTC-e and Vinnik had not attempted to register with FinCEN, implement Anti-Money Laundering practices, or report suspicious activity generally.

Cointelegraph By Ana Alexandre , 2019-11-15 21:45:00 ,

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NewsBlock © 2019 - 2020. All rights reserved.


While Bitcoin’s price seemingly moves without rhyme or reason — collapsing by dozens of percent and embarking on face-melting rallies on a whim — the cryptocurrency market is filled to the brim with fractals.

Related Reading: Analyst: Bitcoin Price Likely to Fall to Low-$8,000s as Chart Remains Weak

A brief aside: A fractal, in the context of technical analysis and financial markets anyway, is when an asset’s price action is seen during a different time. This form of analysis isn’t that popular, but it has proven to be somewhat valuable in analyzing Bitcoin.

One recent fractal popularized by a well-known cryptocurrency trader is implying that BTC is going to return to the low-$7,000s in the coming days.

Bitcoin Fractal Implies Retracement to Low-$7,000s

A well-known crypto trader going by “Tyler Durden” on Twitter recently posted the chart below, which shows that a Bitcoin price fractal may be playing out. The fractal has four phases: horizontal consolidation marked by one fakeout, a surge above the consolidation phase, a distribution, then a strong drop to fresh lows.

If the fractal plays out in full, BTC could reach the low-$7,000s again, potentially as low as $7,100. This would represent a 20-odd percent collapse from the current price point of $8,800.

It isn’t only a fractal that is hinting Bitcoin has the potential to visit its lows. As we reported on Saturday, Bloomberg believes that if the GTI Vera Convergence Divergence Indicator flips red, a downtrend could push the cryptocurrency back to $7,300.

Related Reading: Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at Bitcoin in Monologue: Mainstream Gone Wrong?

Can Bulls Step In?

But again, many believe it is irrational to have such bearish interpretations of the cryptocurrency’s chart at the moment. As reported by NewsBTC earlier, Popular crypto trader Mayne recently noted that the “people waiting for $6,000” are irrational. He quipped that Bitcoin retracing and consolidating after its fourth-biggest bull move in history ($7,300 to $10,500, a 42% gain) is perfectly par for the course, but noted that it’s totally possible we can go lower from $8,800.

The medium-term technicals support this.

Trader and CoinTelegraph contributor FilbFilb found that by the end of November or start of December, the 50-week and 100-week moving averages will see a “golden cross,” which he claims is far more significant” for the Bitcoin market that other technical crosses.

Also, a Bitcoin price model created using Facebook Prophet machine learning found that the leading cryptocurrency is likely to end the year at just over $12,000. What’s notable about this model is that it called the price drop to $8,000 months in advance, and forecasted a ~$7,500 price bottom for BTC.

To put a cherry on the cryptocurrency cake, Crypto Thies observed that when Bitcoin bottomed at $7,300, it bounced decisively off the 0.618 Fibonacci Retracement of the move from $3,000 to $14,000, which correlates with the two-week volume-weighted moving average. He added that summer 2019’s consolidation was marked by Bitcoin flipping major resistances into support levels, implying that a bullish reversal and subsequent continuation is likely possible in the coming weeks.

Featured Image from Shutterstock


Nick Chong , 2019-11-10 12:00:38

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