Bitzlato kept a low profile, but did not go entirely unnoticed before DOJ action

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

In line with a Russian supply, Anatoly Legkodymov is the proprietor of 73.4% of Bitzlato, which has an workplace on a excessive ground within the Federation Tower skyscraper in Moscow, the place it accepted trades of $100,000 or extra. Legkodymov and his predominant accomplice 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 publish 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:

Legkodymov described the method of opening the Bitzlato trade in an internet discussion board in 2017:

“My staff 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 enables us to function a bitcoin trade in a extremely safe method.” 

Whereas Bitzlato attracted little consideration till the DOJ motion on Jan. 18, Chainalysis stated in Feb. 2022 repor that the exchang:

“Has acquired $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 line 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 called the motion in opposition to Bitzlato “the blueprint for future actions, probably 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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