Alexander Vinnik news

Alleged owner of BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange; arrested on money laundering charges.

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Greek Supreme Court to Extradite Purported Bitcoin Money Launderer Alexander Vinnik to France

Alexander Vinnik, the allegedly former operator of the cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, could be sent to France after the country requested his extradition. The Supreme Court of Greece has supported this decision, according to a report released by the Russian news agency TASS. Vinnik is known as Mr. Bitcoin and was detained in Greece back on July 25, 2017. He has been accused of helping criminals to launder $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) using the BTC-e exchange. Both Russia and France have requested the extradition of this individual to their respective countries. Earlier this year, a Thessaloniki court ruled in support of his extradition to France. Nevertheless, he appealed the decision taken by Greece’s highest judiciary. Vinnik has been in prison in Greece and started a hunger strike in November. He decided to do that protesting against the arbitrariness of the judges in the country. Vinnik informed that he will only stop his hunger strike if he is extradited to Russia. He said that he has already lost 9 kilograms after starting his strike. Apparently, if he is extradited to France, he could be later extradited to the United States. He has been accused of violating anti-money laundering (AML) rules and allowing criminals to launder money on the platform. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously accused Greek authorities of complicating relations with Russia due to Vinnik’s case. At the same time, Russia representatives asked Greece to give extradition priority to Russia rather than to France. There have been several exchanges hacked and accused of not being compliant with Anti Money Laundering (AML) rules. This situation has pushed countries and governments to search for new ways to regulate the market. Vinnik is currently in a judicial limbo until he will find a country were to be judged.
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Court Drops Charges Against Alleged Btc-e Operator Alexander Vinnik

The lawsuit against alleged Btc-e operator Alexander Vinnik for “fraud, money laundering, and other grave crimes” filed in Cyprus has reportedly been dropped. His lawyer says the case “fell apart at the very early stage” at the initiative of the plaintiffs themselves. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations Lawsuit Dropped The lawsuit filed in Cyprus against Alexander Vinnik has reportedly been withdrawn by the plaintiffs, Tass reported on Tuesday. Vinnik allegedly operated the now-defunct Cyprus-registered cryptocurrency exchange Btc-e. His lawyer Timofei Musatov wrote in a press release sent to the news outlet: A court session of the Limassol District Court was held on November 27, 2018, where the plaintiffs withdrew the action to accuse Alexander Vinnik of fraud, money laundering and other grave crimes. Expressing his satisfaction with the court’s decision, Musatov said that the court “not only formally satisfied the motion, but also made the decision on the compensation of all legal costs the defendant incurred.” He asserted that the case “fell apart at the very early stage … at the initiative of the plaintiffs themselves,” noting: [This] proves the weakness of accusations against Alexander, vulnerability of plaintiffs’ legal position and their unwillingness to get the case as far as an open legal battle. Other Legal Battles Continue Vinnik was detained in Greece on July 25 last year on a warrant issued by the U.S. Department of Justice. He has been in a Greek prison ever since. The U.S. accuses him of laundering between $4 billion and $9 billion from Mt. Gox’s hack through Btc-e and other exchanges. The Greek Supreme Court ruled last year to extradite Vinnik to the U.S. and, later on, to Russia. However, “Due to the conflicting extradition requests, the decision on Vinnik’s extradition is likely to be made by the country’s Minister of Justice or, possibly, the Greek leadership,” Tass wrote. France also joined the dispute over the Russian national, accusing him of cybercrime and money laundering. “Now there are decisions to extradite Alexander Vinnik to the United States, to Russia, and to France,” Kommersant elaborated. Regarding whether he operated Btc-e, Vinnik told Tass in October that he was only a technical expert at the exchange. “I gave some advice to that platform. That’s not a crime, and the exchange itself is not a crime, it is just a platform for exchanging cryptocurrency,” he claims. Last week, Vinnik’s lawyer accused the judges of the Greek supreme court of violating his rights. He also reportedly went on a hunger strike a few days later. What do you think of the Cypriot court dropping charges against Vinnik? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Reuters. Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. The post Court Drops Charges Against Alleged Btc-e Operator Alexander Vinnik appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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Bitcoin Launderer Alexander Vinnik Begins Hunger Strike Amidst Delayed Extradition

CoinSpeaker Bitcoin Launderer Alexander Vinnik Begins Hunger Strike Amidst Delayed Extradition Alleged Bitcoin launderer and operator of the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, has announced to start hunger strike since Monday, Nov. 26. The news comes amidst the latest developments wherein the Supreme Court of Greece has postponed Vinnik’s extradition. Alexander Vinnik – a High-Profile Bitcoin Launderer Alexander Vinnik is accused of laundering BTC worth $4.9 billion through illegal activities like the hack of Mt. Gox exchange in 2014. As a result, Vinnik was arrested last year during his holiday in Greece. Vinnik’s home country Russia, along with the U.S. and France are seeking his extradition. Last year, the Supreme Court of Greece announced Vinnik’s extradition to the U.S. However, another court interfered ruling his extradition to Russia instead. Things further complicated in June 2018 when a French court issued a European arrest warrant for Vinnik. This forced the Greek Supreme Court to push the hearing on November 19. However, the ruling is now to take place on November 29. Russian new publication TASS reported that Vinnik’s legal team has raised an objection on the postponing of hearing. Timofev Musatov said that Vinnik will start a hunger strike in repose to what he describes as illegal actions on the part of Greek and French authorities. Musatov also says that the decision comes amidst the realization Vinnik most likely won’t get proper defense access either in Greece or France. He says that this is evident with the possibility that the European warrant is likely to expire. Quoting Musatov, TASS wrote: “The Greek Supreme Court’s judge completely ignores the work of lawyers who cannot even file a petition. She does not give them an opportunity to speak or do it. After observing this situation, Alexander realized that he would either get a fair trial or die. If there is no fair trial, he will inevitably be deported to the United States through France, where he will get something close to a life sentence, which equals death.” Musatov further stated that the Greek lawyer openly accepting that “that the court would not treat any citizen of an EU member country or Greece as it treats Alexander just because he is a Russian national.” During the year-long hearings, Vinnik consistently maintains his position of just performing his technical duties at BTC-e. It remains unclear under which circumstances Vinnik’s hunger strike can end. Bitcoin Launderer Alexander Vinnik Begins Hunger Strike Amidst Delayed Extradition

Alexander Vinnik On Hunger Strike To Receive A ‘Fair Trial’ Against Extradition For Bitcoin Laundering

Fasting has been used to great effect in the past. Famous proponents of this weapon, such as Gandhi and Mandela, have used it to bend the wills of empires. On Monday, 26th of November, Alexander Vinnik will follow suit, in an attempt to draw attention to his plight. This is according to news sources in Russia, who noted that Alexander saw no other option. He has been arrested for being the mastermind of an alleged laundering operation via the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, According to a statement by Timofey Musatov, head of the team of lawyers defending him, the reason given for the hunger strike is that “he [Vinnik] was stripped of the right for defense in France and, consequently, in Greece.” In the same announcement, it was further pointed out that there was an apparent lack of action despite the fact that the European arrest warrant had now expired. The US had been looking to speak to Alexander in relation to various charges of money laundering and fraud. Following his arrest, In early 2017, the Greek supreme court has been deliberating on whether to extradite him to France. The Court discussed the case recently but reserved its judgment till 29th of November. According to the Russian media, the defense team feels that the judge is deliberately ignoring them, making it hard to mount a reasonable defense. Tinofey complained “The Greek Supreme Court's judge completely ignores the work of lawyers who cannot even file a petition. She does not give them an opportunity to speak or do it.”He laid bare his main concern stating “If there is no fair trial, he will inevitably be deported to the United States through France, where he will get something close to a life sentence, which equals death. After observing this situation, Alexander realized that he would either get a fair trial or die.” The defense lawyer also noted that there were other things that were making things harder. In fact, the way proceedings have been allegedly mishandled has led to defense counsel Zoe Konstantopoulou, to comment, during a court session, that “the court would not treat any citizen of an E.U. member country or Greece as it treats Alexander just because he is a Russian national.” This is after the courts have been accused of deliberately failing to provide a translated version of court documents when requested. Noting the way things were going, according to Timofey, his client has “understood that he does not have any other options and decided to go on a hunger strike on Monday in protest against this situation.” If the courts do rule in favour of deportation to France, it will only be a matter of time before the US requests an extradition. Regardless of the true nature of the events, the rule of law needs to prevail. in a timely manner. One can only hope that a criminal does get his comeuppance, sans any nefarious intent.
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BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik to Go on Hunger Strike, Lawyer Says

Alexander Vinnik, the suspected operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, plans to start a hunger strike on Monday, days before his next court hearing. The Russian, who has been accused by U.S. authorities of laundering billions of dollars through the now-defunct crypto trading platform, fears he is not going to receive a fair trial.   Also read: BTC-e Successor Wex Loses .nz Domain Complaints About Rights Violations Vinnik, who has been detained in a Greek jail since his arrest in Thessaloniki last summer, is protesting prison conditions and violations of his rights, the head of his defense team, Timofey Musatov, told Russian reporters. The lawyer said Vinnik has already informed the Russian consul in the northern Greek city about his decision to go on a hunger strike. Greek police detained the Russian national in July 2017 on a warrant issued by the U.S., where he has been charged with laundering funds from the Mt Gox hack and more than 20 other crimes. Prosecutors believe Vinnik and his accomplices laundered between $4 billion and $9 billion through BTC-e, once the largest Russian crypto exchange. In early October, a court in Thessaloniki ruled in favor of Vinnik’s extradition to the U.S. His lawyers have filed an appeal with the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece in Athens and his next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29. Russia has previously objected to the extradition of its citizens to the United States. The authorities in Moscow want him back in the Russian Federation, where he is accused of stealing 600,000 rubles ($9,000). France also requested Vinnik’s extradition in June. However, according to Musatov, the 90-day European arrest warrant issued by Paris has already expired. Vinnik wants to return to his native country and even confessed to Russian fraud charges in May. His defense team fears the French authorities would immediately hand him over to the U.S., where he faces a possible life sentence. Fear of an Unfair Trial But Vinnik and his lawyers don’t want a trial in Greece, either. They claim the Greek judicial authorities are depriving him of a proper legal defense, as he has been moved multiple times between the prison in Athens and the court in Thessaloniki for hearings and interrogations. In a letter to the Russian Consulate in Thessaloniki, quoted by RIA Novosti, Vinnik complained that he had been treated inhumanely. He said he has been transported numerous times between various Greek cities, handcuffed in the back seats of small cars. He described it as torture and claims he has been forced to sleep on the floor without a mattress. His lawyer, Musatov, stated: On Monday, Vinnik will go on a hunger strike to protest against this situation. He sees no other way out – it’s either justice or death. At his next hearing at the Supreme Court on Thursday, Vinnik’s defense team plans to ask for the appointment of a new judge, as different Greek courts have supported extradition requests filed by Russia, France and the U.S. Musatov wasn’t able to confirm whether the defendant will be present in court. What are your expectations about the outcome of the Vinnik case? Tell us in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Express yourself freely at’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check The post BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik to Go on Hunger Strike, Lawyer Says appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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Researches from MIT, Stanford Set to Replace Bitcoin with Their Groundbreaking Crypto Project

CoinSpeaker Researches from MIT, Stanford Set to Replace Bitcoin with Their Groundbreaking Crypto Project Until now, everybody has been talking about Bitcoin, the most popular and widely used digital currency. However, Bitcoin is unable to process thousands of transactions a second. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), UC-Berkeley, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Southern California, and the University of Washington have decided to fix such a weakness and develop a crypto asset better than Bitcoin. The researchers are working together as Distributed Technology Research (DTR), a non-profit organization based in Switzerland and backed by hedge fund Pantera Capital. The first initiative of Distributed Technology Research is the Unit-e, a virtual coin that is expected to solve bitcoin’s scalability issues while holding true to a decentralized model and process transactions faster than even Visa or Mastercard. Babak Dastmaltschi, Chairman of the DTR Foundation Council, said: “The blockchain and digital currency markets are at an interesting crossroads, reminiscent of the inflection points reached when industries such as telecom and the internet were coming of age. These are transformative times. We are nearing the point where every person in the world is connected together. Advancements in distributed technologies will enable open networks, avoiding the need for centralized authorities. DTR was formed with the goal of enabling and supporting this revolution, and it is in this vein that we unveil Unit-e.” According to the press release, Unit-e will be able to process 10,000 transactions per second. That’s worlds away from the current average of between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second for Bitcoin and 10 to 30 transactions for Ethereum. Joey Krug, a member of the DTR Foundation Council and Co-Chief Investment Officer at Pantera Capital, believes that a lack of scalability is holding back cryptocurrency mass adoption. He said: “We are on the cusp of something where if this doesn’t scale relatively soon, it may be relegated to ideas that were nice but didn’t work in practice: more like 3D printing than the internet.” The project’s ideology is firmly rooted in transparency, with a belief in open-source, decentralized software developed in the public interest with inclusive decision-making. The core team of the project is based in Berlin. To solve the scalability problem, DTR has decided to develop the Unit-e with parameters very close to Bitcoin’s design, but many things will be improved. Gulia Fanti, DTR lead researcher and Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, commented: “In the 10 years since Bitcoin first emerged, blockchains have developed from a novel idea to a field of academic research. Our approach is to first understand fundamental limits on blockchain performance, then to develop solutions that operate as close to these limits as possible, with results that are provable within a rigorous theoretical framework.” The launch of the Unit-e is planned for the second half of 2019. Researches from MIT, Stanford Set to Replace Bitcoin with Their Groundbreaking Crypto Project

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