What happened to btc

A Russian computer programmer involved in the collapse of a big cryptocurrency exchange says he was tricked into handing over its entire assets khổng lồ fraudsters posing as FSB agents, according to documents obtained by Đài truyền hình phunutiepthi.vn Russian.

Alexei Bilyuchenko was a key player in Wex, which stopped trading in 2018, leaving customers unable to lớn access investments totalling nearly half a billion US dollars.

Đài truyền hình phunutiepthi.vn Russian has spent months investigating the murky world of Russian cryptocurrency trading, trying khổng lồ find out what happened to the money.

It's a story worthy of the Đài truyền hình phunutiepthi.vn TV drama McMafia, involving an unlikely cast of characters from computer geeks & FBI agents, to a billionaire oligarch with ties to the war in Ukraine.

The story begins in the Russian đô thị of Novosibirsk in August 2017 where Alexei Bilyuchenko, a former IT manager for a furniture siêu thị chain, was lying low having narrowly escaped arrest on holiday in Greece.

Six years earlier he and business partner Alexander Vinnik, an electronic cash transfer speciadanh mục, had met online và made a life-changing decision to get involved in cryptocurrency trading.

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Described by friends as shy men who preferred computers to lớn people, Alexander Vinnik và Alexei Bilyuchenko mix up an exchange called BTC-e which was khổng lồ become notorious.

Like similar exchanges around the world, BTC-e offered investors the chance lớn use real money to buy virtual currencies.

Unlike other exchanges in Europe and the US, BTC-e did not ask customers for their ID, meaning that as well as appealing khổng lồ legitimate investors, it also offered a potential way for organised criminals lớn launder money.


Customers flocked lớn invest in BTC-e and, according khổng lồ Global Witness, by năm nhâm thìn it had become the third largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.

The two partners communicated online & they only met in person in 2014 when their daily bitcoin trading reached $2m. By the time it hit $10m in năm nhâm thìn they held a family party in Moscow.

In July 2017 they went on holiday khổng lồ Greece, unaware US federal agents investigating international money laundering were on their trail.


The FBI suspected BTC-e was involved in hiding funds stolen from the haông chồng of another bitcoin exchange, Mt Gox. Cybercrime experts also thought it was being used by the mysterious Russian hacking group Fancy Bears.

A warrant was issued for Alexander Vinnik's arrest & Greek police detained him on the beach, in front of his wife and children.

His mother called Alexei Bilyuchenko, who was in a different resort. In a panic, he smashed his máy tính xách tay, threw it into the sea & jumped on the next flight to lớn Moscow.

Bachồng home in Novosibirsk, Mr Bilyuchenko decided to lớn try to recoup his losses by setting up another exchange called Wex (World Exchange Services).

The FBI had seized BTC-e's trang web but he still had the back-up servers and, via Wex, he was able khổng lồ return investments to some BTC-e clients.

At this stage, according lớn the version of events he later told police, và which has been shared with the phunutiepthi.vn, Alexei Bilyuchenko decided he needed a backer to lớn offer some protection.

He says he was introduced lớn Konstantin Malofeyev, a Moscow-based billionaire, with strong ties khổng lồ both the Kremlin & the Russian Orthodox Church.


Mr Malofeyev, who made his fortune in investment banking, is currently under US và EU sanctions for alleged liên kết khổng lồ rebel fighters in Eastern Ukraine.

In his police statements Alexei Bilyuchenko says he was invited lớn Moscow several times lớn meet Mr Malofeyev in his offices in a high-end shopping plaza.

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The topic of how much money Wex was generating allegedly figured large in their conversations, as did the question of what might have happened to lớn the funds held by BTC-e until the FBI swooped.

"For several months Malofeyev demanded I show him the Wex cryptocurrency balances," Mr Bilyuchencko told police.

Angry clients began demanding their money baông chồng and one filed a complaint with police in Russia's Chuvashiya region.

He said he had actually lost control of Wex in the spring of 2018, several months before it officially collapsed.

He said that at a meeting in Konstantin Malofeyev's Moscow office he had been introduced lớn some men he understood were agents from the security service, the FSB.

They took him lớn a building used by the FSB, not far from the Bolshoi Theatre. They asked him about Wex and then took him to the luxury Lotte hotel near the Russian foreign ministry where he says he remained under guard all night.

According khổng lồ Mr Bilyuchenko, the next morning he was taken bachồng to lớn Mr Malofeyev's office, where it was strongly suggested he should move sầu the funds held by Wex into lớn "an FSB fund", which he agreed to lớn, &, according khổng lồ him, on his next visit to Moscow he transferred everything as requested.

Back home page in Novosibirsk, it began lớn dawn on hyên, he says. He had, he claims, been the victyên of a scam &, rather than transferring the money inkhổng lồ state coffers, he had actually been tricked inlớn handing it over khổng lồ Mr Malofeyev's associates.

Since telling his story to the police Mr Bilyuchenko has gone inkhổng lồ hiding. Private security guards now protect his home page và he has declined to lớn speak to the Đài truyền hình phunutiepthi.vn or anyone else about Wex.

Alexander Terentiev, who heads a chiến dịch group for defrauded investors, told the phunutiepthi.vn he was not convinced. But others seem less sceptical.

Since the over of November, courts, public buildings, metro stations & shopping centres in Moscow và St Petersburg have sầu been paralysed by almost daily hoax bomb threats.

According khổng lồ reports in Russian media, several of the emailed warnings have sầu included references to lớn Wex's missing millions and lớn Mr Malofeyev.

A statement issued via Mr Malofeyev's Tsargrad TV channel described the bomb threats as part of "a chiến dịch of discreditation" against hlặng.

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"Neither Konstantin Malofeyev nor his companies have anything lớn vì with the theft of Bitcoins, the Wex exchange, or its management," it said.

Mr Malofeyev has declined khổng lồ speak khổng lồ the Đài truyền hình phunutiepthi.vn about the case và the FSB has not responded khổng lồ the phunutiepthi.vn's request for phản hồi.

Meanwhile, in Greece, two years after his dramatic arrest on the beach, Alexei Bilyuchenko's former business partner Alexander Vinnik is still in jail.

The US, Russia & France are all seeking his extradition. He has not seen his wife, now suffering from a brain tumour, for two years,

His lawyer Timofei Musatov told the Đài truyền hình phunutiepthi.vn the former bitcoin multi-millionaire had been on a long hunger strike & was now a shadow of his former self.