BTC-e was a cryptocurrency trading platform until the U.S. government seized their website in 2017. It was founded in July 2011 by Alexander Vinnik and Aleksandr Bilyuchenko, and as of February 2015 handled around 3% of all Bitcoin exchange volume. Until the 25th of July 2017, it allowed trading between the U. S. dollar, Russian ruble and euro currencies, and the Bitcoin, Litecoin, Namecoin, Novacoin, Peercoin, Dash and Ethereum cryptocurrencies.
It was a component of the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index since the index’s September 2013 formation.
BTC-e was operated by ALWAYS EFFICIENT LLP which is registered in London and is listed as having 2 officers (Sandra Gina Esparon and Evaline Sophie Joubert) and two people with significant control: Alexander Buyanov and Andrii Shvets.
The US Justice Department attempted to close down BTC-e on the 26th of July 2017 when they charged Vinnik and BTC-e in a 21-count indictment for operating an alleged international money laundering scheme and allegedly laundering funds from the hack of Mt. Gox
BTC-e Domain Seized by U.S. Law Enforcement
History of BTC-e
BTC-e was established in July 2011, handling a few coin pairs, including Bitcoin/U. S. dollar and I0Coin to Bitcoin. By October 2011, they supported many different currency pairs, including Litecoin to dollars, Bitcoin to rubles and RuCoin to rubles.
The BTC-e website went offline on 25 July 2017, following the arrest of BTC-e staff members and the seizure of server equipment at one of their data centres. These events led to the closure of the BTC-e service.
To repay its customers, BTC-e created WEX tokens, which were used to represent customers’ seized equity. The WEX tokens represented $1 and were issued to account for the value of customers cryptocurrencies at the time of the seizure. Vinnik was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison in France while refusing to testify during his trial. He was acquitted on involvement with the Locky ransomware charges
For now clients can only check their balances and make modifications to their security settings. From September 2 clients could also withdraw 55% of their funds, as per a post in the news section on the new site.
According to the same publication, full operations in the legal field of AML, KYC , the necessary licenses with biddings (web, api) and the possibility of input and output (Fiat, Coins, Codes), is planned by September 15, 2017.
We remind you that BTC-e, one of the major and longest existing bitcoin exchanges went offline in the end of July. For days it was displaying a technical maintenance message, until over the weekend the message was changed with a notice that the site was seized by US law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, the Russian Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece and indicted by a US Grand Jury for the laundering of $4 billion of ill-gotten gains through the BTC-e platform, of which it allegedly is the owner or chief administrator.
BTC-e was one of the major bitcoin exchanges and used to handle around 2.5% of all Bitcoin exchange volume.
In addition to the standard trading of bitcoin, as well as litecoin, namecoin, novacoin, peercoin, dash and ethereum and US Dollar, euro and Russian ruble, BTC-e was offering “bitcoin betting” which appeared to be some sort of a binary option on the Bitcoin and PAMM services, similar to that of “regular” forex brokers.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Nyongesa Sande or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Nyongesa Sande makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author does not own cryptocurrency.
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