The US Department of Justice has arrested and charged Anatoly Legkodymov for transmitting money without any license. If convicted, Anatoly Legkodymov faces a prison time of up to 5 years. Bitzlato is now in the news after its founder was mentioned in the press release of the Justice Department.
To specifically quote the press release, here is what it says about Anatoly Legkodymov: Bitzlato was conducting a money-transmitting business relating to illicit funds.
It further states that Bitzlato has failed to comply with US regulations, including anti-money laundering requirements. Anatoly Legkodymov was arrested from Miami this Tuesday for running this business. Bitzlato has also been found to have a connection with Hydro Market, a dark web marketplace that allows users to buy stolen credit cards and drugs and indulge in many more similar activities.
According to reports, Bitzlato received over $15 million in ransomware proceeds in addition to $700 million in cryptocurrency that has been exchanged on the platform.
The crypto community is, surprisingly, not taken aback. When the Justice Department announced that it would be dropping a bomb about a major international cryptocurrency action, everyone assumed it to be Binance, a firm that has been under the limelight for over 4 years now. While the news was indeed about a crypto exchange, it turned out to be about the one that only has $11,000 in its wallet.
It had $6 million in funds when the exchange platform was at its peak. The same is not applicable now, with the majority of crypto enthusiasts having no idea what Bitzlato even is.
Binance also looked to be mentioned in the news as the FTX collapse has made all the crypto exchange platforms vulnerable to the fall. Binance is under investigation for criminal sanction violations and money laundering. The fact that the news about Bitzlato was hyped by the Justice Department is unable to find a proper place in the minds of the community members.
One of the Twitter users called it a pretty overt crypto money-laundering operation and added that many literally thought the news was going to be about Binance. The crypto market would have been different if it were really about Binance.
Conor, Director at Coinbase, has tweeted saying that someone has withdrawn $670k in the last 24 hours. Conor has even left a hint of someone seizing the said balance in the last 24 hours.
The FBI Assistant Deputy Director, Turner, has assured that the department will continue to pursue bad actors who are trying to cover their criminal activities behind the latest technology like cryptocurrency. Turner has added that the work will be directed toward disrupting and dismantling these types of criminal activities.
Bitzlato might appear to be a small player in the industry with a wallet size of only $11,000, but it does showcase that the efforts are in the direction of putting a break on such activities irrespective of the size of a crypto exchange.