A group of enthusiasts connected Vinnik with Mt.Gox

According to a WizSec years-long investigation, Alexandr Vinnik was laundring stolen Mt.Gox money 
27 July 2017   1770
Blockchain

Distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks.

A group of WizSec enthusiasts (Bitcoin Security Specialists) has been conducting its own independent investigation for several years of the biggest and most loud stealing of the Bitcoins - the collapse of MtGox.

WizSec published the first part of the results of the investigation, which became publicized in the light of the arrest of Alexander Vinnik.

Investigation summary

Let's check what WizSec had found for us.

  • In September 2011, the MtGox hot wallet private keys were stolen, in a case of a simple copied wallet.dat file. This gave the hacker access to a sizable number of bitcoins immediately, but also were able to spend the incoming trickle of bitcoins deposited to any of the addresses contained.
  • Over time, the hacker regularly emptied out whatever coins they could spend using the compromised keys, and sent them to wallet(s) controlled by Vinnik. This went on for long periods, but also had breaks — a prominent second phase of thefts happened later in 2012 and 2013.
  • By mid 2013 when the funds spendable from the compromised keys had slowed to a near halt, the thief had taken out about 630,000 BTC from MtGox.
  • In addition, the shared keypool of the wallet.dat file lead to address reuse, which confused MtGox's systems into mistakenly interpreting some of the thief's spending as deposits, crediting multiple user accounts with large sums of BTC and causing MtGox's numbers to go further out of balance by about 40,000 BTC. The majority of these funds were hurriedly withdrawn by their recipients rather than being reported.
  • After the coins entered Vinnik's wallets, most were moved to BTC-e and presumably sold off or laundered (BTC-e money codes were a popular choice). In total some 300,000 BTC ended up on BTC-e, while other coins were deposited to other exchanges, including MtGox itself.
  • Some of the funds moved to BTC-e seem to have moved straight to internal storage rather than customer deposit addresses, hinting at a relationship between Vinnik and BTC-e.
  • The stolen MtGox coins were not the only stolen coins handled by Vinnik; coins stolen from BitcoinicaBitfloor and several other thefts from back in 2011 and 2012 were all laundered through the same wallets.
  • Moving coins back onto MtGox was what let us identify Vinnik, as the MtGox accounts he used could be linked to his online identity "WME". As WME, Vinnik had previously made a public outcry that coins had been confiscated from him (the coins in question coming from Bitcoinica).

Coins flow

WizSec team made a great job, creating a visual scheme of transaction of stolen Mt. Gox Bitcoins.

WizSec coin flow scheme
Coin flow scheme by WizSec

Bitcoin

Is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen.

According to the report, some coins were deposited back to MtGox, and the team could identify which accounts were used to receive them; two in particular were of interest, and were possible to link to the online identity "WME". (Clusters that directly used these MtGox accounts are highlighted in red.) WizSec team state tthat WME has been active since a long time back, often advertising "cheap coins" on the BitcoinTalk forums and willing to trade exchange money codes.

WME was involved with an incident with stolen Bitcoinica funds, which provided yet another strong indicator that we had identified the right man, seemingly the main money launderer behind the MtGox heist. This incident also ended up revealing the name "Alexander Vinnik", though we didn't at the time think it was his real name, having seen many aliases. Arrest suggests it was real after all.

Also, team state that this investigation turned up evidence to identify Vinnik not a hacker/thief but as a money launderer. He may have merely bought cheap coins from thieves and offered a laundering service. 

It worth reminding that trial of the founder of Mt Gox started 10th of July in Tokyo. 32-year old Frenchman Mark Carpeles insist on be innocent.

Line to Launch Bibox Exchange in Singapore

Bitbox supports 28 digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT, XRP, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, MonaCoin, Qtum and Golem
16 July 2018   110

One of the most popular messengers in Asia Line has launched a Bitbox exchange in Singapore. Trading on the platform started this morning and is limited to pairs with crypto-currencies, Cryptovest reports.

Bitbox supports 28 digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT, XRP, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, MonaCoin, Qtum and Golem.

BITBOX is only for trading cryptocurrencies (Digital Tokens). Fiat currencies (USD, KRW, etc.) cannot be exchanged on BITBOX.
 

Bitbox Website

Bitbox charges a 0.1% commission and supports 15 languages, including English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, French and German. In Russia, the US, Japan and some other countries, the exchange is not available.

At the beginning of the year, Line Group applied for a license to the Japan Financial Services Agency, but the process dragged on because of tightening of the regulator's requirements in the light Coincheck exchange hack. All crypto exchange, wishing to provide services in the Japanese market, are required to obtain permission from the local regulator.

Currently, Line is also in the process of obtaining a license in the US. The company decided to open its first trading platform for crypto-currencies in Singapore, as this city-state adheres to a progressive approach to the regulation of the digital currency sphere.

With cryptocurrency, we are going to take our challenge in financial services global.
 

Takeshi Idezawa

CEO, Line

In May, Line Group denied rumors that it intends to release its own token and distribute it through the ICO. Every month Line is used by about 200 million people. The messenger is extremely popular in Japan, South Korea and Thailand.