As far as I undesrstood, Vinnki / BTC-e just allowed anonymous operations, nothing more. They didn't steal money, Vinnik didn't launder it himself. Other criminals just used BTC-e for their activities, while Vinnik himself wasn't familiar with the criminals.

Is this true?

If this is true, then how does it work? The owner of knife store is responsible for crimes, commited with his knives or what?

Why doesn't Satoshi Nakamoto responsible as he also has created a tool, allowing anonymous money transactions?

1 Answer 1


What actually did Alexander Vinnik / BTC-e do?

According to ZDNET

A French judge has sentenced today the founder of the now-defunct BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange to five years in prison and a fine of €100,000 for laundering funds for cybercriminals, including ransomware gangs

According to The Guardian

During his time in the digital currency market, US authorities allege Vinnik facilitated crimes including hacking, fraud, identity theft, tax refund fraud, public corruption and drug trafficking. Greek police described Vinnik as a “an internationally sought ‘mastermind’ of a crime organisation”.

There were other, as yet unproven, allegations of crimes including direct involvement in ransomware activity and theft of Bitcoin from the MtGox exchange.

So Vinnick was not simply the owner of an exchange unknowingly used by criminals. He was convicted for knowingly receiving and laundering the proceeds of criminal activity.

  • I suspect it is casuistry. Given the fact, that many bitcoin exchanges are doing excess identification, passport verification etc, which contradicts the ideas of cryptocurrencies, we can conclude that somebody force them to go againt that ideas. For example, Vinnik could regarded as "knowingly" participating in laundering just because he knew that clients were anonymous and knew that "honest people doesn't need anonymity".
    – Dims
    Oct 31, 2022 at 17:50

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