Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has been identified as a counterparty to the little-known exchange Bitzlato, which is now facing money laundering charges in the US.
The controversy surrounding Bitzlato now also involves Binance, after the US Department of the Treasury wrote in an order that Binance was Bitzlato’s top receiving counterparty of bitcoin (BTC) between May 2018 and September 2022.
Coming in as the second and third receiving counterparties were Russian dark web market Hydra and TheFiniko, a Russia-based website that has been accused of operating a pyramid scheme.
The top sending counterparties were identified as Hydra, peer-to-peer trading platform LocalBitcoins, and TheFiniko.
The order claimed that about two-thirds of Bitzlato’s “top receiving and sending counterparties are associated with darknet markets or scams.” It also said that the exchange, which is registered in Hong Kong, has “significant ties to and connections with Russia,” and that it was used for money laundering by “Russian illicit finance.”
Commenting on the news that Binance was a top receiver of funds from Bitzlato, a Binance spokesperson told Bloomberg that the exchange fully cooperated with law enforcement in the case.
Binance “provided substantial assistance to international law enforcement partners in support of this investigation. This exemplifies Binance’s commitment to working collaboratively with law enforcement partners worldwide,” the spokesperson said.
Bitzlato’s founder, Russian national Anatoly Legkodymov, was arrested in Miami on Tuesday this week on charges related to money laundering from illegal gambling and drug deals. It is said that approximately $700m of illegal proceeds were laundered throughRead more on cryptonews.com