BTC-e Closure: Clients Are Mt. Goxed by the U.S. – A New Front in Crypto Wars

For the first time, the U.S. government attacked a foreign exchange on foreign soil. It closed down the Russian-based exchange BTC-e. (Russian-based refers to ownership, not location.) BTC-e reported, “On July 25…the FBI staff came to the data center…and seized all equipment, the servers contained databases and purses of our service.” BTC-e is charged with 21 violations of U.S. financial law; the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network also hit it with a $110,003,314 penalty. The move was stunning not only because BTC-e is one of the oldest and largest exchanges but also because many now locked accounts are owned by U.S. citizens, non-residents.

Also read: Fork Watch: Block 478558 Initiates ‘Bitcoin Cash’ Split

Russian Native Alexander Vinnik Indicted and Awaits Extradition

BTC-e Closure. Its Clients Are Mt. Goxed by the U.S. A New Front in Crypto WarsThen, on July 27, the Russian Alexander Vinnik was arrested on vacation in Greece and also charged with 21 counts of financial crime. He is allegedly an owner or operator of BTC-e, although BTC-e denies it. Assessed with a $12 million penalty, Vinnik’s arrest was prompted by a U.S. warrant and he awaits extradition.

Perspective is difficult to come by. News accounts are biased toward painting BTC-e as a criminal site designed to launder ‘dirty’ funds, yet discussion forums brim with panicked account owners who are clearly legitimate traders. And, then, there are gleeful trolls who plant fake stories. BTC-e’s twitter updates contradict government accounts. And no one seems to know key details like what exactly was on the seized equipment.

The secrecy surrounding BTC-e also causes confusion. A statement from the law site J.D. Supra captures it well. “The superseding indictment notes that BTC-e’s website stated that it was located in Bulgaria yet subject to the laws of Cypress [sic]; its managing shell company, Canton Business Corp., was based in the Seychelles but affiliated with a Russian phone number and had web domains registered to shell companies in countries including Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, France and New Zealand.”

One question has a clear answer, however. How can the U.S. claim jurisdiction on foreign soil and force a foreign company to close?

America’s Global Jurisdiction

BTC-e Closure. Its Clients Are Mt. Goxed by the U.S. A New Front in Crypto WarsThe answer is two-pronged: domestic laws on financial transfers; and, international treaties.

Domestic Laws. U.S. law requires a foreign Money Service Business (MSB) doing business in America to be registered and to comply with a list of conditions. Because BTC-e “conducted at least 21,000 bitcoin transactions worth more than $296 million in the United States, with….some…funds being sent customer to customer,” it is deemed to operate in the U.S. even without a physical presence. Thus the first charge against BTC-e and Vinnik is being unregistered.

The remaining twenty charges are multiple violations of two statutes. 18 U.S.C. § 1956 governs money laundering and imposes a punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment. 18 U.S.C. § 1957 addresses money transfers that involve the proceeds of a crime and imposes a punishment of up to 10 years. Both allow for a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction (each count).

The U.S. is a mishmash of laws on whether cryptocurrency is money and, usually, ambiguity in the law favors the defense. Here, it would either favor the prosecution or it would not matter. The prosecution enjoys a strong political atmosphere and will to convict cyber ‘criminals’, such as drug dealers or terrorists. Besides which, most trades and accounts involve fiat currency at some point.

As long as BTC-e and Vinnik avoid the U.S., however, an indictment or a conviction in absentia would have little impact. At least, that was the case before a series of treaties changed law enforcement relationships around the world.

A Department of Justice press release accompanied the indictment and stated, “The arrest of Alexander Vinnik is the result of a multi-national effort and clearly displays the benefits of global cooperation among US and international law enforcement.”

There are so many international agreements to share financial information and law enforcement that it is simpler to list non-participants rather than signatories. An article entitled “International Law Enforcement Gathered to Share Concerns About Bitcoin and Money Laundering” described a January 2017 international conference of more than 400 cybercrime, cybersecurity, and money laundering investigators; they discussed the problem of digital currency. One solution: “international cooperation to investigate should be given to the ‘international exchange of suspicious Bitcoin addresses’.”

A signatory nation with the powerful U.S. is likely to respect a warrant based on U.S. law. If a targeted person travels to the signatory nation, then he is vulnerable.

BTC-e Closure. Its Clients Are Mt. Goxed by the U.S. A New Front in Crypto Wars

Status and Significance

BTC-e has promised to refund its clients’ funds. It stated, “The next update will be information on what options are available to restore the service, as well as the procedure for obtaining funds, in the event that the service is not started….Then from September 1 we will start the process of refund. In the next 1-2 weeks, we will evaluate and publish information about how much money fell into the hands of the FBI and what amount of funds is available for return.”

Thus far, Vinnik has refused to assist the law enforcement investigation. His silence may slow the investigation but not halt it. Rooting out “bad actors,” including tax evaders, has a high priority for the U.S. government and others. A few weeks ago, the BBC announced, “Two of the largest dark web marketplaces have been shut down following a ‘landmark’ international law enforcement investigation. The AlphaBay and Hansa sites had been associated with the trade in illicit items such as drugs, weapons, malware and stolen data.” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a prominent press conference at which he declared to cyber criminals, “You cannot hide. We will find you.”

Dave Lee, BBC’s North America technology reporter, explained that the significance of this statement would become “known over the coming year of more as authorities follow up the ‘many leads’ they…found as a result of infiltrating and shutting down these two enormous networks….What authorities really want to do is start putting significant numbers of people behind bars.” The problem is that the “huge coordinated action has only resulted in a handful of arrests.” They need a large network of criminals, and the data seized from BTC-e may provide it.

The grim determination with which the U.S. is pursuing BTC-e can be judged by the indictment’s which states, “The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service…; Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; FBI; U.S. Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division; and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. ” The seizure notice on BTC-e included the U.S. Department of Justice, Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. The shutdown of BTC-e may well be a first of many attacks on unregulated exchanges and markets both inside and outside American borders.

What To Do If You Belong to an Unregulated Exchange

Prudence suggests at least three steps.

  • Do not trade in or for fiat. Cryptocurrency is a gray area but fiat is clearly covered by anti-money laundering laws
  • Keep coins on an exchange only for as long as trading takes
  • Use a VPN, preferably not Tor

Innocence is not a defense. Most of BTC-e’s clients are clearly innocent, yet the indictment’s wording reflects the authorities’ view that all users are criminals. With a licensed exchange, law enforcement may need to link specific accounts to criminal activity. With an unlicensed one, they are under no such constraint and the incentives point to grabbing funds and making headlines.

Of course, Americans may not need to worry. More and more exchanges and services are going to decline American clients and this time enforce the ban.

What do you think about the U.S. seizing BTC-e? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Images via Shutterstock, BTC-e, and the Associated Press.

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  • Alan Craig

    As a UK citizen I think the US has no right to seize my funds and deprive me of my own property,its a violation of my human rights not that the US has ever cared about any ones rights before

    • Karla

      Im in the us…cant fault all us people born here…i hate everything about our government corruption and most authority people…irs etc…hate…but we are just little people.

      • Elly Sy

        Stop giving them your money. Start a corporation abroad to hide your assets. Make dummies if you can. Stop funding this $tμpid government. They’re being used to fund terrorism. This government is the real terrorist

        • Dany Ong

          Freedom of speech is a constitutional right to voice our vote for a just government. Freedom of use in our $ is to voice our vote for a just banking system. Taking this to the supreme court to uphold one’s freedom is the only case that BTC-e’s got — that is unless the Government is owned by the Bank. We will see.

    • Of course, the US government has no right. This is the opposite of all that is right or just….but I know so many decent Americans. There is such a disconnect between the American government and the people right now. I have never seen the like of it.

    • Same here @disqus_HDUtoeMa52:disqus . Who we been robbed by? The United States. Can you believe that. I feel like those fishing vessels out in sea and then a pirate has come along and robbed everyone. Now they want to hold BTC-e responsible when they should be notifying their own citizens and telling them not to use bitcoin. It is disgusting and regret to have seen this happen. Really put a real perspective of the US not caring about people at all, just to keep its dollar and system as number 1.

  • this disgusting action reinforces mine and many others hatred for the usa , its citizens and all governments that suck the tit of the usa

    • tourismpics

      Please don’t hate all of us citizens. Most in this cesspool are brainwashed low IQ consumer puppets, yes, but not all of us. I live here and know some good people. Unfortunately this puppet government is a spawn of excrement, and us aware folks who despise it feel powerless. The sooner it collapses, the better for the world, and it will eventually happen! I wish I could leave this fuck pit now but am stuck do to the stifling of us common folk.

      • henk t H

        Of course not all u.s. citizens are morons.
        It’s just the way it works in the minds of people.
        The u.s. has condemned, and is treating the complete customer base of BTC-e as criminals, based on the actions of a few. It may be according to law, but with justice this usage of laws has little to do.

        This behaviour does generate negative emotions towards a state, including it’s citizens, located somewhere between the Northern Atlantic and Pacific.

        In both cases the term ‘collateral damage’ comes to mind.

        As we say over here: better sit still when being shaven.

      • Elly Sy

        Stop giving them your money.

  • Felix Btc

    as always the usa as the real bad guys ignoring everything to get some headlines
    they just suck and are fapping for attention they should just gtfo if Bitcoin isnt money same as crypto Then gtfo and let the market regulate itselfThere is no AML that can be used on something that isnt MONEY! USA SJW Cucktards again…

  • chech0

    Complete corruption they are not the world policemen, even though they think they are.

  • sjs

    So the US law enforcement agencies rely on ‘international cooperation’ when it suits them but have no compunction to vote in congress and the senate against the interests of the very same EU jurisdictions when they want a commercial advantage and of course demonize the Russians. How convenient that Vinnik is Russian, it suits their narrative of all Russians being up to no good and only the USA being the honest upstanding defender of humanity. Do me a favor Yanks, stay within the confines of the continental USA and I promise never to bother you.

    • A lot of people have noted that this incredible action is riding the wave of Russian hysteria gripping the U.S. Unfortunately, you are correct, and the Russian aspect will make the seizure far more acceptable to the American public and establishment. As a Canadian, I now refuse to cross the border because what is happened down there is so appalling.

      • sjs

        Ditto, as an Australian. The truly sad party is I have American friends and I feel bad tarring all Americans with the same brush. Regrettably most of them thought Trump was the panacea for their problems but it runs a lot deeper than that and no 70 year old Real Estate developer and Reality TV Host/Producer is likely to fix this mess. Let’s hope our countries don’t get completely overwhelmed by the thoroughly misguided Yanks.

  • David Green

    USA makes me so fucking disgusted i am seriously considering leaving this fuck hole. Feds are so crooked so corrupt there simply is no word in the English language yet to explain it!

    • Christina Marie

      amen I’m so embarrassed of this shitshow

  • geggamojja

    I’m a hard working European. I have a steady job, pay my taxes and never comitted a crime in my life. This lead to the FBI seizing most of my life savings, that I decided to place in bitcoin for what seemed to be good return on investment. I’m disgusted by a foreign country can label me a criminal and steal my money without any kind of warrant or similar against me. I pray this is resolved somehow, but it doesn’t look very good. I have been following forums and similar, and we’re literally thousands of average Joes in the same situation, whos savings has been stolen by the US from an exchange. Imagine the outcry if Russia shut down Nasdaq and seized all assets being circulated there 🙂

    • Ross

      Exactly right !

    • It hurts to read your post, and I’ve been reading so many that are similar over the last 48 hours. Please do go to but, frankly, your best hope is the BTC-e will make good on its promise to refund. After all, they make a great deal of money from the active exchange and, re-opening and paying the fine is to their economic advantage. Of course, they would have to change how they conduct business — e.g. close American accounts.

      • geggamojja

        Thanks. Yes, I don’t count on the FBI returning anything, my best hope is that they deliver on their promise. Although, re-opening when the FBI has labelled them “a criminal drug-network” is probably not entirely straight forward either. The biggest eye-opener in this mess isn’t really the dangers of trading bitcoins, but rather the ridiculous reach of the US government to close down businesses and seize funds of people in any country in the world. Something is seriously wrong here.

        • sjs

          Wrong from a moral standpoint yes, but still legal. The US was set up by the British as a corporation under maritime law in the 1800’s and has far reaching treaties. The best option is to exclude all US citizens and avoid any physical presence on US soil. ie Unilaterally sanction the US to avoid prosecution under US law.

      • Dany Ong

        Exactly; the closing and banning of the accounts seams like a fair play to show both sides faith and respect for a Just America. But then again, Government and People has indeed been disconnected. Perhaps this is a way for all to restore their faith in our governmental bodies.

    • KWJ

      I’m in the same boat :/

  • mrviolin

    USA continually bad. USA continually bad. He gave them a long leash….now it’s time to Snap them back and roll back these militarized police and the corrupt judges that just rubber stamp without allowing exculpatory evidence to enter the record. How much more corrupt can it be… Prisons these days are profit centers…they work you

  • sjs

    And so the ‘Great Vampire Squid is wrapping itself around the face of humanity’ in an ever increasing intensity. The phrase previously coined to pertain to GS now extended to include all of the US government and financial apparatus. Trump is the epitome of the ‘Ugly American’ and the perfect representation of an empire that is an existential threat to humanity. Three big American inventions, the A-bomb, the Internet and Bitcoin all being perverted to control, confine and destroy freedom and our very existence on the planet. Every effort to escape American overreach seems to fail.

    • From a writing perspective, loved your writing @disqus_imhKm0pSpW:disqus

      • sjs

        Thanks 😉

  • hattra

    Any sign of a class action suit being started to recover our property? When HSBC Mexico got fined by the Feds for failing to correctly document their account holders, the Feds didn’t close the bank and deny the depositors access to their own money, so why should they be able to do it to a bitcoin exchange?

    • Yes. This is a good place for you to start weighing your options. If you are in the UK, there is also a class action effort there. I expect there is one for the EU as well but I’m not aware of it.

      • hattra

        Thank you for the information. I am a UK expat at the moment, so I will probably try to to through the UK class action effort

  • LOL they cant arrest everyone!

  • ChanceEGardner

    I haven’t followed this. I have no funds at BTC-E other than a few hundred dollars that they lost/ never responded to my tickets in 2013. Call that a troll claim if you like.

    Do we know if the government has access to the cold storage wallets? I would presume BTC-E uses cold storage. Do we know that the government has seized all of the BTC-E crypto assets? If they have all of the crypto assets, how will they dispose of them? If they do have access to everything, and do another US Marshall sale, then surely they will be challenged in the courtroom. I don’t think they could get away with selling out the accounts of innocent users both in the US and other countries. How would they, for instance, justify selling some Swedish account holder’s holdings? Is there a precedence?

    My guess is the government just has some servers, office equipment and the hot wallet holdings. We are at the beginning stages of a saga. Another guess is that BTC-E used a hot wallet/cold wallet system because they have been around for awhile and haven’t been completely drained by hackers yet.

    • I don’t think you are making a troll claim. I’ve heard similar things about BTC-e but not anything that seemed to be a systemic problem. Mostly people complain that the customer service is unresponsive. I am inclined to think you are correct about the feds having only computers, servers and hot wallets rather than anything in cold storage. I glean that from BTC-e’s reference to “purses” and from how eager the authorities are to interview Vinnik. Mostly users are panicked and distressed by being shut out of their accounts. They are being wisely cautioned to approach BTC-e (or the other related sites) only through a VPN in trying to make contact, however, because, apparently, the way many people were IDed at Hansa was because they went there after Alphabay was seized and the authorities were tracking the site.

  • Cam Ford

    if this is cyber war….then USA has committed a war crime by attacking a target without regard for innocent casualties. If they knew so much to take down a criminal….then they know as much to protect the innocent and to take action without regard to the innocent law abiding lives they destroy….is a war crime. It is a pogrom or genocide upon anyone who uses cyber currency.

    • They have obviously been reading the forum attached to BTC-e because they reference the user names as evidence of the exchange being a den of drug addicts and dealers. One user had “Cocaine” in his name, for example. Which means they also know that the overwhelming number of posters do absolutely nothing but trade and spar with each other.

  • Man Torka

    Now we see who the real criminals are

  • Юрий Христенко

    Dear help who can have left everything on the exchange to a penny bit 14wnaofKgeMmNLpa4AHfJB1neivngwKicm who responded will return back with a good%

  • Kash Acharya

    I just wanted to thank you for writing the other side of the story with regards to legit users on that exchange who have been disstressed by this. We need more investigative media that paints both sides of the story. So many little joe’s around the world have been hurt by this and yet as far as the US government is concerned they are just colletral damage. I wonder how the reaction would have been if most of the customers had been US based?, I can’t help feeling that they would have treated this in whole different way. It seems right now the US Government is hungry for any Anti Russian headlines!

    • You are most welcome. As far as I can tell, almost all the users were legitimate. I am sure there was some ‘criminal’ activity on the exchange but isn’t that true of banks and cash? Take care.

      • Dany Ong

        There are criminals in every industry of this world. That’s the nature of humans, the last I check.

  • JdL

    Use a VPN, preferably not Tor.

    Why not Tor? I know there have been rumors that Tor was broken by U.S. government thugs a year or two ago, but people who program Tor seem to think it’s safe. Do you have definite knowledge one way or the other?

    • My best information is that Tor is fairly well monitored by US agents who have targeted it in particular for years now. Here’s an article I wrote on the subject some while back Here’s some info from the Tor Project blog Best to use a VPN from a nation that is serious about internet privacy laws, like the Netherlands.

      • cb75075

        Yes think about TOR like the KKK in which the KKK is probably mostly FBI agents and its an ant trap. Same with the newer Trucrypt which has NSAback doors in it. TOR is there to make it appealing for people to use but is mostly likely back doored by gov agencies. Its an ant trap.

      • Elly Sy

        Aside from vpn, use a virtual machine and use it for trading only.

  • USGov: Too big for its britches and growing.

  • Maxximiliann

    Why would anyone even trade on a centralized exchange with all of their KYC/AML regulations in the first place?

    Just another reason why DEX is the future and Saske is the killer app.

  • Elly Sy

    Amurrica is getting worse. Time to ban amurrica! Damn you $tμpid amurricans! Stop making this government more powerful. Dang! You’re not even allowed to collect your own water or produce your own electricity without getting connected to the grid! One mosanto crop seed blown to your property and you’re going to jail. You doesn’t even own the property you paid according to your laws. Then you keep giving your money to this government to kill people abroad and to support terrorism. How $tμpid can you be? You call that the land of the free? Dafuq? You know whats stopping your government from treating you like cramped cattle in the factory? The international community. But they are slowly getting fooled by amurrica too… They do this by fooling them to fight terrorism… terrorism that amurrica made.. to condition countries before starting their new world order. And thats when everyone will be treated like cattles!

    • Dany Ong

      Everything has its pros and cons brotha… and all pros and cons cycles forever and ever. Those who gain in this will lose in the end, and those who lose in this aftermath will gain. I just know that all of what we’ve lost will come back in many folds. 🙂 It still hurts to see all my life savings disappear.

      • Elly Sy

        I ‘ve read somewhere that if you renounce your US citizenship, you still need to pay taxes to IRS and military funds. Also, if you have at least one amurrican parent, then you’ll become an amurrrican citizen. Lol! I guess I should avoid amurricans like the plague. I don’t want my children be infected with amurrican citizenship virus. Lol! Once you have it, you cannot escape it. You are forever an amurrican government cattle, forever obeying their draconian rules. I wouldn’t dare touching this citizenship in my entire life. I wonder how many people got fooled into this. Amurrican citizenship in exchange of overpriced healthcare and hospital bills. Oh and the overpriced taxes plus a risk of getting sacrificed to their puppet terrorist.

  • Elly Sy

    How could amurrica steal people’s money and get away with it.

  • Hitler and the Jews = United States and Bitcoin
    I think that we are going to continue to see this happen and lots of cover ups. I am starting to think that the biggest danger to bitcoin is governments as every government wants to protect its currency and power. But, Bitcoin should not be considered a currency, it can shift and become new things with many layers on top as we are finding.

    The United States has I believe broken the Atlantic Charter which was drafted after the people in that time noted a certain danger that can happen in the World and these people have forgotten that importance and doing just the same.

    How much has the US paid for bitcoin? Do you think they can even pay for bitcoin? Because what does that say when they want everyone using their currency? The US will rob all crypto it can and then sell it in private auctions to private US people. I am starting to think this is going to be the biggest crime against humanity in modern times.

    Really shows a lot. Where Russia could have grown to have large exchange, now it has none, leaving the US to hold its dominance.

    One of the most trusted and oldest exchanges has been shut down. Crimes against humanity anyone?

    And MtGox did not fail because of MtGox. MtGox failed because MtGox’s accounts were seized in the US which prompted MtGox to stop withdrawals and the end of MtGox was just waiting to happen. $5m taken back then was a big thing for bitcoin, not like today and valued at billions with billions being traded daily.

    What we are being fed though is that it was hacked by some guy who run off with billions and they trying to put the guy as the owner of the site. Just a lie and today people in all parts of society are learning that one day a new declaration of independance may be needed from humanity. When we look and see back on the 4th of July that once a people had to break off, because they knew. And if governments act that way toward bitcoin there will come a day when people up and own society will seek a change.

    • Thanks for the reference to Mt. Gox and funds seized by the U.S. I will look into that myself but, if it is convenient and only if it is convenient to you, do you have references/URLs about the situation? Oh, and by the way, Russia did not lose BTC-e because Putin banned BTC-e earlier and it had left Russia.

  • Marcos Guglielmetti

    Well, thanks for the post, it is very fair. I have funds at btc-e and think they will come back and give the finger to the feds, btc-e admins were not raised in America and surely do not have the respect or fear that could have Americans to the FBI. In addition they have acted ethically in the past with any problems they have had and I think they defend the paradigm of cryptocoins with “authority.” So you should not talk about btc-e only as a thing from the past. There is a great chance they will open this month again.

    These are the first battles of the crypto cyberspace, bitcoin has all the potential to win the war and revolutionize both the economy and the form of government and legislation in the empire and the world. USD and other FIAT coins are going to surrender at the end (this is unstopable), it is an anarchic revolution much deeper than can be presumed now, and of which the common people have not even realized.

    It is a revolution of the illegal market, just like any revolution: today is illegal, tomorrow will be the norm.

    • Marcos….I know BTC-e has promised to re-establish the exchange and to refund “lost” funds, and I know it has made good on its promises before. There are problems this time, however. If it is re-established — and I do believe it will be — then it remains a criminal enterprise in the eyes of the U.S. which will seek to close it down or make it conform. Conforming means paying the fine and getting licensed which includes quite a few reporting (to the U.S.) requirements. If BTC-e gives the finger to the U.S., then I believe they will be targeted again because the U.S. is clearly trying to set a precedent. Needless to say, I wish you the very best in this situation.

      • Marcos Guglielmetti

        Ok, thank you, but these people are almost the same as the Russian revolution, they are their descendants, they have learned something from history, I imagine. I was not born in the USA, I know that people who were not raised there think and feel very different from the American people. I know the only chance we have to get our funds – and in my case is very little money – is based on the courage of the Russians – if it exists in this case.

        If it was because of the tone of the btc-e admins at bitcointalk, I would say that they do not have ANY fear of the FBI, and that their problems to go online are mostly technical.

        This really is a war, you have used the words well. Technically btc-e can be online again, if it is not on the web, in the darkweb, there are many possibilities. If they dont do it in the end, it will be because they fear for their lives.

        • Marcos, I think you have more perspective than I do on the character and principles of those behind BTC-e. If they can stand up to the U.S. juggernaut, they will be doing the entire world a favor…including the people of the U.S. Thanks for posting your take on the situation. It has been fascinating.

          • Marcos Guglielmetti

            Maybe I am a bit wrong, but for the facts, for now, they are behaving like rebels: Vinnik is not helping the FBI and the btc-e admins in control of the data are saying they could open, so they dont fear the US gov.

  • Nicolas Curtil

    Lost all my honnest earned coins… like so many others.
    This is the perfect proof that in the so called anonymous world of cryptocurrency, things are just very easily traceable and stay at the mercy of centralised institution.
    I truely believe that the Apparently very de-centralised blockchain technology has been created to make everybody want to use it. Actually it is the first step into completely banning cash and install one digital currency which would leave us totally powerless.
    It looks good and keeps the anti-conformist happy, but the crypto world is there for only one reason: Controlling us totally.
    If it was a real threat to the globalist, it wouldn’t have made it so far.

  • US has no right to seize my money, they may shut down BTC-e but must refund innocent users money, I lost a big part of my savings in bitcoin. Loss is not affordable but I don’t know what to do.

    • Rais…I think it is more likely than not that BTC-e will make its customers “whole”…but the U.S. government will not. That’s a dead end. Hang in there…because I know you are on a terrible emotional ride right now. But I do think BTC-e will come through.

  • Jaap

    From the Netherlands: Really really scary that a foreign police agency takes my property without any statement whatsoever. Much scarier than any criminal activity. I can protect myself from criminal activity, but this is just, well, the worst abuse of power imaginable. I lost money at Gox, but more money to the FBI now. Wow, just wow. Losing money this way is not a real threat to my existence, but otherwise this is about as far from “fair” and “just” as I can imagine.

  • Fritz Knese

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Many folks think that could we just get the “bad actors” out of government everything would be OK. NO! The system (all world systems really) promotes putting big power into the hands of a few individuals thus causing the corruption to which ordinary people find themselves both predators and prey.
    The “cure” is having systems (or lack of systems) that do not put lots of power in the hands of a few individuals. Anarchism comes to mind…

  • Andy J

    The US government is the real criminals here. What law grants them the right to steal my funds without ANY evidence against me? I was simply trading on the exchange, I am not a criminal. They think they are immune to every law. The sooner this corrupt empire crumbles, the better for the people of the world. Hurry up Russia, China and North Korea, finish them off.