The United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), a division of the Department of the Treasury claims that there is an underlying connection between the two. Binance Bitzlato is an illegal cryptocurrency website.
FinCEN made it clear that Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, was one of the top three receiving counterparties of Bitzlato in relation to transactions involving Bitcoin (BTC) and this order was published on the 18th January.
According to regulators, Binance was among the top counterparties that received Bitcoins directly from Bitzlato in the period between May 2018 and September 2022.
FinCEN discovered that FinCEN had other counterparts, such as the darknet marketplace Hydra, which was connected to Russia, and the Ponzi-like scam called “Finiko” in Russia.
FinCEN didn’t include Binance among their top three sending counterparties.
According to the paper, Hydra, LocalBitcoins from Finland, and Finiko were the top three contributors to Bitcoin to Bitzlato in the period May 2018 to September 2022. FinCEN’s order stated that approximately two-thirds (or three quarters) of Bitzlato’s top receiving and/or sending counterparties are tied to darknet markets or frauds.
According to the agency Bitzlato had collected cryptocurrency totaling $406 million through frauds, $224 Million from darknet markets, and $9 Million from ransomware victims between 2019-2021.
This information comes as a number of US agencies have taken serious enforcement actions against Bitzlato. These authorities accuse Bitzlato of money laundering and of enabling Russia to circumvent sanctions.
Anatoly Legkodymov was taken into custody on January 17, in Miami, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of an ongoing investigation into the company.
Bitzlato, a cryptocurrency service, was not very well known compared to Coinbase or Binance.
According to reports, the platform was established in 2016. It had an office at Moscow’s Federation Tower. Here it processed transactions worth at least 100 thousand dollars.
Binance is alleged to have been involved in the Bitzlato investigation. This raises questions about Russia’s relations and activities.
Binance, as previously reported, was one of those exchanges that decided to continue serving non-sanctioned Russians following the adoption of the eighth sanction package by the European Union.