On November 23, a total of 10,000 Bitcoin, which are currently worth over $165 million, were transferred from a crypto wallet that belonged to the defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e to various exchanges, individual wallets, and other sources.
While this pullout is the largest made by BTC-e since April 2018, a Chainalysis report on November 23 suggested that BTC-e and WEX, an exchange that is believed to be BTC-e’s successor, both sent small amounts of BTC to the Russian electronic payments service Webmoney on October 26 before making a test payment on November 11 and sending out an additional 100 BTC on November 21.
10,000 Bitcoin moved to personal wallets
9,950 BTC of the total sent amount is believed to still be in individual wallets, with the remaining BTC being transferred through middlemen and ending up at four deposit addresses on two significant exchanges.
Ki Young Ju, co-founder, and CEO of the blockchain analytics company Cryptoquant confirmed the findings and pointed out that 0.6% of the funds were sent to exchanges, which might be sell-side liquidity.
Young Ju shared images of the transfer and noted that the BTC had been in the wallet for more than seven years in a tweet on November 24.
Additionally, Young Ju called for the account to be suspended for questionable activity and disclosed that 65 BTC had been moved to the cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC.
A Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange called Mt. Gox once handled more than 70% of all Bitcoin transactions. After being hacked in 2014 and has thousands of Bitcoins stolen, the exchange soon declared bankruptcy.
After claims that BTC-e was engaged in money laundering, including the use of cryptocurrency taken during the Mt. Gox exchange hack, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down BTC-website e’s and seized funds in 2017. BTC-e had US-based servers.
BTC-e reportedly held “a substantial amount of Bitcoin” at the time of its shutdown, and in April 2018 it moved more than 30,000 BTC out of its service wallet.
The owners of BTC-e made an effort to maintain their anonymity, but it is believed that Alexander Vinnik is the main operator and has been involved in legal disputes for the past five years.
According to a 2017 WizSecurity report, BTC-e and Vinnik were directly involved in the theft of user funds and bitcoin from Mt. Gox, with the latter being forced to halt trading and shut down its website as a result of the losses.