- On November 23, a crypto wallet associated with an exchange that is no longer functioning, i.e., BTC-e exchange, witnessed a transaction of 10,000 Bitcoin, estimated at about $165 million.
- The amount was sent from the wallet to two anonymous and different addresses.
Out of 10,000 Bitcoin, about 3,500 bitcoin were sent to an anonymous wallet. After this, 300 Bitcoin from that very address were sent to another address. The amount got divided into many parts and forwarded to many different wallets not associated with any well-known custodial service.
As of now, the delivery pattern of Bitcoin still needs to be discovered. There is a possibility that the amount was sent to other wallets possessed by him, other wallets possessed by others or converted into fiat money. The left amount of 6,500 was kept aside.
In 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) put a ban on the further functioning of the exchange. The exchange was accused of money laundering after managing a calculated US$9 billion in the time period of its launch, i.e., 2011 and 2017.
The accused director and supervisor of operations of BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, got arrested in Greece on July 25, 2017, by the U.S. Department of Justice. The operator was also accused of money laundering obtained in the well-known hack of the crypto exchange Mt. Gox Co. Ltd. The operator got jailed for five years in France in 2020 with the allegations of laundering funds before being handed over to the United States in 2017.
Comments on the sudden activation
Regarding this matter, Ki Young Ju, the co-founder and CEO of crypto quant, posted a Tweet on Twitter in which he shared a chart, mentioning that “no wonder, it is from hackers, similar to many old Bitcoins. It is the BTC-e exchange wallet associated with the 2014 Mt. Gox hack.”
“They delivered 65 Bitcoin to @hitbtc, not more than a few hours ago, so it is not a gov auction,” he further added.
Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange established in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. In 2014, Mt. Gox became the victim of a significant digital attack. In that attack, the exchange lost 850,000 Bitcoin estimated at about US$500 million at that time, after which the exchange got bankrupt.
A report issued by WizSecurity in 2017 notes that BTC-e and Vinnik were directly linked in the stealing of Mt. Gox Bitcoin and user funds, with the latter being pressurized to ban trading and shut its website after the losses.