BTC-e on Refunds, the FBI and Alexander Vinnik

BTC-e on Refunds, the FBI and Alexander Vinnik

On July 31 the bitcoin exchange BTC-e sent a message over Twitter and on the forum Bitcointalk concerning the company’s recent website seizure by U.S. law enforcement. Additionally, the statement claims that Alexander Vinnik was not the head operator of BTC-e and further states the detained Russian was never an employee.

Also Read: BTC-e Operator Indicted and Connected With Missing Mt Gox Funds

BTC-e Reveals Information on FBI Takedown

Bitcoin.com recently reported on the recent takedown of the exchange BTC-e and the arrest of its alleged operator Alexander Vinnik. According to U.S. law enforcement Vinnik operated the trading platform and laundered $4B worth of bitcoins tethered to illicit activities since 2011. The exchange domain was seized following the arrest of Vinnik by six law enforcement agencies working on the investigation, and now many innocent BTC-e traders are concerned about their holdings. Then on Monday someone who had access to the company’s Twitter handle and Bitcointalk account sent out a message to the public.

“On July 25, FBI staff came to the data center where our server equipment was located and seized all of the equipment, the servers that contained databases and the purses of our service,” explains the translated BTC-e message on the Bitcointalk forum. “For almost six days now we could not get sane information from our hosting provider on what happened to our servers and because of this information we publish now.”

BTC-e Makes a Statement on Refunds, the FBI and Alexander Vinnik
BTC-e announces its statement via Twitter on July 31, 2017.

The Exchange Claims it Will Process Refunds Soon

BTC-e also states that other employees servicing the facility were also taken into custody by the FBI. Moreover, the trading platform says it will soon be revealing how it might be able to come back online and start a refund process.

“The next update will include information on what options are available to restore the service, and also the procedure for obtaining funds, in the event that the service is not started. In the current situation, if the service is not started before the end of August, then from September 1 we will start the process for refunds.”

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.

The exchange explains that the company has always worked on trust and “funds will be returned to everyone.” After the company provides some refund assurance, the exchange details that Alexander Vinnik was not an employee nor the head of the organization. The company’s statement also reveals that BTC-e will be answering questions in the Bitcointalk thread. However, there are no other statements from BTC-e within the thread or on Twitter at the time of writing.

BTC-e Makes a Statement on Refunds, the FBI and Alexander Vinnik
BTC-e’s Bitcointalk.org statement.

Spectators Still Unsure of BTC-e’s Latest Statements

Many bitcoin proponents are uncertain of the legitimacy of BTC-e’s recent statements and especially the claim that Vinnik was not involved with the company. One reason people are skeptical is because of the recent Wizsec article detailing Vinnik’s alleged participation in many crimes. The bitcoin security specialists say “Vinnik is our chief suspect for involvement in the Mt Gox theft” and further ties him to BTC-e accounts. Wizsec says they will be releasing more information on the matter in the near future.

For now, BTC-e customers and spectators will just have to wait for more information to come to light either from the exchange itself, U.S. law enforcement, or blockchain forensic experts like Wizsec.

What do you think about BTC-e’s recent statements? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcointalk.org, and Twitter. 


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  • Evan Warnock

    i think people got Gox’ed again, but maybe this time they shouldn’t be so sad, as they prob don’t WANT to have coins involved in this one, looks ugly, way more ugly than Gox imo :/

    • rurerapa

      They don’t want to have coins on one of the easiest sites to set up and trade on?…

      I mean, sure maybe NOW they don’t want that, but I’m not sure how they “shouldn’t be so sad”…
      This is really, really sad.
      In a way, its especially sad if BTC-e is truly guilty.

      This could be a huge blow to the coin community in a multitude of ways.

      • JustaPassingThought2015

        Easiest site to set up and trade on? Probably the reason why it was used to launder money. It’s not surprising. The problem is – They included even the legit/honest users’ accounts without thinking!

        • Sean Michael

          The FBI never thinks a head, They are like the “Great Elliot Ness” so interested in making a splash in the Headlines ( look look what we did ) they screw up their cases with shoddy investigations and have to resort to smear tactics and lies/false evidence leaked to their MSN cronies.

    • Steve Worrell

      IF you were Gox’ed, it was by the FBI

      • Sean Michael

        I think you hit the “Nail” on the head. You are exactly right. The FBI is nothing more than the “Slick Willy” and “Wicked Witch of the East”(HRC) protection agency.

  • rurerapa

    Wha?
    This just gets weirder and weirder. I don’t know what to think any more.

    Vinnik isn’t the head of BTC-e according to people at BTC-e and they plan to offer refunds if possible if the service doesn’t come back before August.
    Well, at least there’s that.
    I made a comment in another article on this subject saying it was bullshit, but really I just don’t know.
    I’m just concerned what happens now.

    I know just as much as his legal status of innocence whether or not anything weird is going on here.
    Its just hard because BTC-e seemed like such a good site for trading. It was easy to get funds into, the fees were low…

    Basically, this just fucking sucks.

  • Liberty88

    If this is Mount Gox 2.0 than I understand why the government would want to take them down. However —— the FBI doesn’t have much credibility (read: NONE) anymore since they can’t seem to stop child trafficking. drug trafficking. pedophilia, organ harvesting, spirit cooking, as well as Hillary’s hacked phones, servers classified documents, F-35 fighter classified docs, 20 – 30 U.S. House representatives getting comprised data breaches, Seth Rich murder investigations, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc……

    • Sean Michael

      I’ll post this one more time as it applies equally in both answers/replies: I think you hit the “Nail” on the head. You are exactly right. The FBI
      is nothing more than the “Slick Willy” and “Wicked Witch of the
      East”(HRC) protection agency.

    • Elly Sy

      You forgot the missing trillion funds that caused them to do 9/11.

      • Liberty88

        I was out of breath – and time.

  • Evan Wilder

    Wait a minute, this company is based in Russia. How did the FBI get all the way to the Russian headquarters of this company in another jurisdiction.

    Also, who is Alexander Vinnik, then? Is he some guy off the street?

    • Donald Shongwe

      Servers were hosted in USA,

      • chris fuchman

        the u.s. of canada to be exact

      • Evan Wilder

        The lesson here is ….. host nothing in the USA. Got it.

  • Pti Baghbanpura

    It seems Fbi staff not getting slry or creating phobiya and thteat all over the world to centeralize Bitcoin…trump i say u straight away just abstain such childish behaviour…u cannot dictate and rule this crypto world

  • This is so rich. The FBI still does not know where the missing Mt Gox funds are and they do not have a “mastermind” in custody and they intruded and seized property in a location within another country. I wonder when Greece will come to this conclusion. I hope it is soon.

    • Sean Michael

      They do know they railroaded Ross. They knew the true culprit was the “fat little toad “(Chappel). They were embarrassed and sent a emissary ,when the Japanese arrest the little A$$ during their investigation into Mt.Gox de binnacle.

      • The FBI ruins people through threats and intimidation. They make your life around you impossible to live normally for years after. We will learn from their exploits.

  • JaysonMM

    This wasn’t to protect consumers, it was a smash and grab by the FBI. Do you realize how much funds they just confiscated? If you think even the legit traders on the site are getting their money back, you’re delusional. Fucking easy money for the feds.

  • Dave Zorman

    My take on this is that this Alexander Vinnik guy may or may not be guilty of what the FBI claim and was trading bitcoin on BTC-e so they just think the whole thing is crooked because they don’t understand cryptos.