In search of lost money: the BTC-E admins announced the return of control over the base of the exchange. But it is not exactly

Last week, one of the popular cryptographic exchanges BTC-E suspended its work. Resource problems began on July 25th. Then the official administration account on Twitter stated that technical work is being carried out in the data center where the BTC-E servers are located:

As it turned out later, the matter is far from technical work, but the loss by the administration of physical access to its own servers. Within a few days, the flywheel of events unwound and the users' prospects of losing their hot wallets, arrests, and even the FBI were on the surface.

Then, on July 25, the administration still lacked the courage to tell users about the loss of control over the exchange and the "promise" that BTC-E would be put into operation as soon as possible:

In response to this, as expected, a wave of negativity rose. Rage in the profile community was replaced by bargaining, turning into depression, while users were moving towards the inevitable acceptance of irreversible losses.

In the Twitter itself and at the specialized sites, there was a discussion that the administration decided to “weld” on short positions, that this is not the first such stop, and in general, things are not being done.

Slightly more technically advanced users have noticed that such a long work on a DC is unlikely, and the lack of mirroring and any duplicate systems for such an important project is completely nonsense.

The very next day after the fall of the exchange, users divided into two camps: those who believed that BTC-E simply “threw” all the traders and left with the money “at sunset”, and those who were expecting the restoration of the exchange. In parallel with the closure of BTC-E, the story of the laundering of $ 4 billion through the exchange by Russian Alexander Vinnik, who according to Bits.Media is a co-owner and one of the BTC-E administrators, surfaced . So in the history of the "data center service" appeared the FBI and, consequently, the seizure of servers.

The closure of BTC-E made the community extremely suspicious and nervous, and a purse of 18f1yugoAJuXcHAbsuRVLQC9TezJ6iVRLp came to the attention of the community. On the morning of the 25th, before the fall of the exchange and the administration’s tweet about “work in the data center”, more than 66,000 BTC were transferred from this wallet. It is noteworthy that the wallet has been exclusively replenished since its inception in 2013, gradually accumulating money. At the current rate, the equivalent of $ 185 million went to an unknown direction. And money is moving according to the laundering scheme: the principal amount is transferred from the wallet to the wallet, while at each stage 20-300 BTC are transferred to four other purses and so on to the end point. You can see where this amount went on .

Conspiracyologists almost immediately linked this account with Vinnik, although the exchange administration denied this, stating that "the account belongs to someone else."

But the case was not limited to the withdrawal of servers with “hot” wallets, the arrest of Winnick and strange transactions. After the fall of the stock exchange, Mayzus Financial Services Ltd, which serviced the fiat financial flows of the stock exchange, blocked the accounts of the BTC-E administration and all suspects in the FBI case. The users quickly tied up with the Mayzus Financial money laundering case, which infuriated the latter.

The owner of Mayzus Financial Sergey Mayzus in an open letter published on, officially announced that his company did not cooperate with the administration of BTC-E and the information published about the involvement of Mayzus Financial in the functioning of the exchange is slander:

MAYZUS Financial Services Ltd., through the MoneyPolo and OKPAY services, may have had among its customers legal entities - BTC-E exchange operators and / or individuals - owners or employees of the BTC-E exchange. However, all accounts of legal entities or individuals who, in our opinion, were related to the BTC-E exchange, are blocked, and the financial regulator has been duly notified of this. In addition, information about these individuals was passed on to law enforcement agencies in the UK.

On July 26, 2017, the lawyers of the above companies sent a letter to GitHub Inc., as well as to unidentified persons - owners of the resource demanding to immediately remove from the above resource the defamation against me personally (Sergey Mayzus) and my companies. ... lawyers belonging to Companies are currently preparing a lawsuit against GitHub Inc. for me. and owners of the website.

Please ....... henceforth refrain from disseminating defamatory information published on the website, and those who have had the imprudence to publish it, immediately delete it.

From the text above, Maisus’s desire to distance himself from the stock exchange’s affairs is obvious, and as far as possible. The letter was published on July 31.

However, yesterday the BTC-E administration made a two-point statement on Bitcoin Talk . First: control over the base is restored. Secondly: all users of the exchange who held their funds in real currencies (EUR, USD and so on) lost access to their money for an indefinite period due to Mayzus Financial’s actions to block accounts. That is, the administration insists that the exchange was the client of the company.

So what happens and what happens next?

Let's talk chronology of the main events.

  1. On July 25, the BTC-E exchange goes offline for “maintenance work in the DC”.
  2. On the morning of the same day, before the official statement about the “work in the data center”, activists pay attention to the suspicious movement of a large amount of bitcoins (equivalent to $ 185 million) on the purse 18f1yugoAJuXcHAbsuRVLQC9TezJ6iVRLp in an unknown direction under the laundering scheme.
  3. In Greece, the alleged co-owner of BTC-E, Alexander Vinnik, is being detained and is considering the option of his extradition at the request of the US Justice Department.
  4. Mayzus Financial, after being convicted in collaboration with BTC-E in the person of the company owner, begins to hysterically deny itself of what is happening.
  5. The administration still feeds users with breakfast, but today declares that access to the database has been restored, but control over fiat accounts has been lost due to blocking by Mayzus Financial.

Most likely, access to the BTC-E fiat accounts will be completely lost. If the administration has indeed managed to restore access to the database of “hot” wallets, then users can count on returning part of their money placed in cryptocurrencies.

The only channel of communication with the administration through the bitcointalk forum is extremely unreliable. There still remains the possibility that the entire stock exchange has literally “burst” and the money that has been placed on it cannot be returned. Even if the administration managed to “drag off” the database from the DC, or agree with the US Justice Department, under the control of the FBI, the incident would have a very negative impact on the reputation of BTC-E.

It should be noted that the situation with the fall and closing of the stock exchange is far from nonsense. This has happened before, and as long as the activities of such sites are in the “gray” legal zone, they will continue in the future. The only way to somehow protect against such force majeure is to diversify investments and use several exchanges simultaneously. Only those BTC-E users who showed excessive caution and kept tokens in “cold” repositories, in the form of a file on a PC or other media, were out of danger.

The demand for cloud mining is increasing throughout the year:


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