Bitzlato stored a low profile, however didn’t go solely unnoticed earlier than DOJ motion

Noncustodial peer-to-peer crypto trade Bitzlato was little recognized to some earlier than the USA Division of Justice (DOJ) enforcement motion towards it on Jan. 18. It was co-founded in 2016 by lately arrested Russian nationwide Anatoly Legkodymov.

In accordance with a Russian supply, Legkodymov is the proprietor of 73.4% of Bitzlato, which has an workplace on a excessive flooring within the Federation Tower skyscraper in Moscow, the place it accepted trades of $100,000 or extra. Legkodymov and his predominant associate in Bitzlato are additionally reportedly concerned in Russian crypto mining tools distribution firm A-HVT.

Legkodymov had a protracted and checkered historical past within the crypto business going again greater than a decade. His earliest put up on the BitcoinTalk discussion board dates again to 2011, the place he described the occasions that led to a lack of greater than 50 BTC:

Supply: BitcoinTalk

Legkodymov described the method of opening the Bitzlato trade in a web-based discussion board in 2017:

“My crew and I’ve analyzed quite a few failure eventualities, together with a simulation of a hacker assault by the trade house owners and operators, and we discovered an answer that permits us to function a bitcoin trade in a extremely safe method.” 

Whereas Bitzlato attracted little consideration till the DOJ motion on Jan. 18, Chainalysis said in a report final February that the trade had “obtained $206 million from darknet markets, $224.5 million from scams, and $9 million from ransomware attackers.”

Illicit and dangerous transactions made up 48% of the corporate’s enterprise at the moment, in keeping with the report.

Associated: US sanctions Russia’s largest darknet market and crypto trade Garantex

The DoJ had introduced it will be holding a convention to debate the costs early within the day, however didn’t point out which firms can be concerned. This led many, who have been speculating in regards to the involvement of a lot bigger names, to react with a certain quantity of irony:

One lawyer commenting on-line known as the motion towards Bitzlato “the blueprint for future actions, presumably even the one extremely anticipated right this moment.”

Others noticed darker forces at work in taking down this darknet actor:

Bitzlato itself was clearly unsuspecting of the motion about to overhaul it. It tweeted the morning’s trade charges to its 1,488 followers on Jan. 18.

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