FinCEN lists Binance among the top Bitcoin counterparties of Bitzlato

FinCEN lists Binance among the top Bitcoin counterparties of Bitzlato
Crypto Security
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The American Network for the Suppression of Financial Crimes (fincen), an office of the Treasury Department, argued that BINANCE is linked to the illegal bitcoin cryptocurrency platform.

In an order published on Jan. 18, FinCEN stated that the Binance cryptocurrency exchange was among the “top three receiving counterparties” of Bitzlato in terms of Bitcoin () transactions.

According to the authority, binance was among the largest counterparties that have received bitzlato bitcoin between May 2018 and September 2022. Other counterparties included Russia-connected darknet market Hydra and the alleged Russia-based Ponzi scheme known as “Finiko,” FinCEN noted.

However, FinCEN did not mention Binance as the three main forwarding counterparties in sequence. According to the paper, the largest senders of Bitcoin to Bitzlato between May 2018 and September 2022 were Hydra, Finland-based exchange LOCALBITCOINS and Finiko.

"About two-thirds of Bitzlato's main receiving and shipping counterparties are associated with dark markets or scams," FinCEN wrote in the order. The Agency noted that from 2019 to 2021, Bitzlato received $206 million in cryptography from the Darknet markets, $224 million from scams and $9 million from ransomware attackers.

The news comes as several American authorities take important law enforcement measures against Bitzlato, accuse the company of money laundering and allegedly facilitate the circumvention of sanctions against Russia. As part of the case against Bitzlato, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymov on Jan. 17 in Miami.

Contrary to the main crypto exchanges such as Binance or Coinbase, Bitzlato was a cryptocurrency service little known. Founded in 2016, the platform reportedly has an office in the Federation Tower skyscraper in Moscow, where it accepted transactions of $100,000 or more.

The alleged involvement of Binance in the case of Bitzlato raises certain concerns regarding the swap transactions and potential links with Russia. As previously reported, Binance was among exchanges that opted to continue to serve non-sanctioned Russians after the European Union adopted the eighth sanctions package against the country.

Related: Binance registers as virtual asset service provider in Poland

Addressing Cointelegraph’s request for comment regarding FinCEN’s reference to Binance in Bitzlato’s case, a spokesperson for Binance said that the firm has been collaborating with regulators, stating:

"La Binance is pleased to have provided significant support to our international law enforcement partners to support this investigation. This illustrates Binance's commitment to working with its law enforcement partners around the world.“

FinCEN did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.