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Binance among top Bitcoin receivers of Bitzlato, FinCEN says

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that combats financial crimes, has named Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, as one of the top three receiving counterparties of Bitzlato Ltd. 

See related article: FTX chief John Ray mulls resurrection of collapsed crypto exchange

Fast facts

  • Hong Kong-registered crypto exchange Bitzlato has been charged by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly laundering US$700 million in crypto assets. Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymov has been arrested, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday. 
  • Bitzlato’s top three receiving counterparties — in terms of total Bitcoin received between May 2018 and September 2022, — were Binance, the Russia-connected darknet market Hydra and alleged Russia-based Ponzi scheme TheFiniko, FinCEN said in a Jan. 18 order. 
  • According to FinCEN, the top Bitcoin senders to Bitzlato between May 2018 and September 2022 were Hydra, Local Bitcoins  — a Finland-based exchange — and TheFiniko.
  • “Bitzlato processed over 1.46 million direct transfers with the Hydra darknet marketplace between May 2018 and early April 2022, representing transactional flows of nearly 20,000 BTC sent and received during that time frame,” FinCEN said in the order. 
  • FinCEN’s order, which intends to restrain the transmission of funds involving Bitzlato, will be effective from Feb. 1.
  • See related article: Digital Currency Group’s crypto brokerage Genesis Global Capital files for bankruptcy

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