Russia gets linked to a $450 million exchange collapse as the investigations show that we are reading further in the latest cryptocurrency news today.
As per the BBC, investigation revealed links between Russia’s FSB intelligence agency (Federal Security Service) and the collapse of the WEX cryptocurrency exchange back in 2018. One of the co-founders of the platform claimed that he was forced to hand over the customers’ wallet data and told the money will go to the FSB funds.
The BBC obtained audio recordings and telephone conversations in which it is claimed that Konstantin Malofeev discusses the importance of getting the WEX platform under FSB control. Malofeev is a Russian billionaire who is currently under the US sanctions for bankrolling the Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine and the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Following the phone calls in April 2018, the founder of the WEX founder, Alexey Bilychenko, claims that he was taken to the FSB offices in Moscow and he handed multiple flash-disks over there with multiple instructions on how to access the customer’s online wallets with more than $450 million worth of Bitcoin and other cryptos. Soon after, the Bitcoin price spiked on the exchange and the customer withdrawals were frozen.
Wex was launched in 2017 and followed the closure of the BTC exchange by the FBI and the arrest of Alexander Vinnik. It seems like Russia gets linked indeed since the exchange also founded by Bilyuchenko was investigated for money laundering and enabling the movement of about $4 billion illicit funds and was later used by the Russian hacking group Fancy Bear that also had connections with the US democratic party. If Bilyuchenko launches another crypto exchange, it is probably the best idea to stay clear. While the allegations by the BBC investigations seem to suggest that Russia’s intelligence agencies have not relations with Bitcoin and crypto, there is still no movement on the legal status in the country.
Later in July, the officials stated that it would not get a monetary status any time soon and in September there were suggestions that mined Bitcoin might be taxed in the same manner as a treasure. The BBC investigation seems to be reliable but there are still multiple things needed to be re-checked.
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