BTC-e received a $110M penalty from US authorities

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network imposed a  $110M penalty on the BTC-e "for willfully violating U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) laws"
27 July 2017   2532

The Office worked in coordination with the US Attorney's Office of the Northern District of California. According to the official documents of FinCEN, Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik and the BTC-e exchange he represents are accused of money laundering, conspiracy to commit financial crimes, illegal financial transactions and the management of a business related to money transfers. At the same Vinnik FinCEN imposed a fine of $ 12 million for his "role in violations." This is reported on the FinCEN website.

We will hold accountable foreign-located money transmitters, including virtual currency exchangers, that do business in the United States when they willfully violate U.S. anti-money laundering laws. This action should be a strong deterrent to anyone who thinks that they can facilitate ransomware, dark net drug sales, or conduct other illicit activity using encrypted virtual currency.  Treasury’s FinCEN team and our law enforcement partners will work with foreign counterparts across the globe to appropriately oversee virtual currency exchangers and administrators who attempt to subvert U.S. law and avoid complying with U.S. AML safeguards.

Jamal El-Hindi
Acting Director, FinCEN

The agency also notes that the users of the exchange were actively giving advises to the BTC-e administration on the conduct of illegal money transactions and laundering proceeds. Laudering money was from the Darkkroad, Hansa and AlphaBay, well-known deep web drug markets. Also FinCEN noted that for the opening of the trading account on the BTC-e exchange only the email address, password and user name were required.

In addition, BTC-e is involved in part of the funds that were lost after the bankruptcy of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. In particular, the FinCEN website says that for the period from 2011 to 2014 BTC-e carried out about 300,000 bitcoins-transactions with illegally obtained funds.

FinCEN also found that the exchange had received funds worth about $ 3 million, which were received as a result of the work of extortion programs, such as "Cryptolocker" and "Locky". Also BTC-e is involved in money laundering through the Liberty Reserve payment system, which was closed by the US authorities in 2013.

Alexander Vinnik was arrested 25th of July in Greece. BTC-e is unavailable from 25th too. Official reason is maintenance.

Switcheo to Launch Cross-Chain ETH-NEO Atomic Swaps

Developers says that the technology of atomic swaps has been known for few years, but is not popular, since its implementation in practice is quite complicated
25 April 2019   59

Switcheo announced the official launch of the atomic swaps feature for the Ethereum and NEO blockchains.

From now on, Switcheo users have access to the inter-block exchange of their own token exchange, SWTH and ETH, which allows for the transfer of assets between two markets represented on the trading platform and makes Switcheo the first decentralized exchange that implements this functionality.

A challenge with existing trustless exchanges is that trades are confined to individual blockchains, limiting the market combinations that can be offered to users” says . With the launch of the new feature, users can now trade conveniently between ETH and NEO markets, while retaining full custody of their funds.

Ivan Poon

CEO, Switcheo

According to the developers, the technology of atomic swaps has been known for several years, but is not widely used, since its implementation in practice is quite problematic. Switcheo lead developer John Wong explained that his team spent a lot of time adapting the process to the user's needs and achieved the desired result.