New Zealand police announced the arrest of $90 million related to the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchanges. However, this is only part of the assets of the once largest Russian-language cryptocurrency trading site. These assets by the name of the possible owner are called "Vinnik's treasure."
In total, the New Zealand police seized assets worth 140 million New Zealand dollars, or about 90 million US dollars, following from the corresponding message. They were on the accounts of an unnamed New Zealand company but allegedly belonged to Vinnik and Seychelles Canton Business Corporation — the operator of BTC-e, according to US law enforcement agencies. Vinnik's side has not yet commented on these messages.
BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange was founded in 2011. It was possible to buy and sell bitcoins, novacoins, and other digital money on it.Unlike many other cryptocurrency brokers, BTC-e did not require serious authorization: it was enough to specify an email to start bidding. For comparison: on exchanges that seek to comply with anti-money laundering legislation, you need to provide not only passport data but even utility bills to prove that you really live at the specified address.
On the eve of the crash in June 2017, the total daily turnover of the site exceeded $66 million (Coinmarketcap statistics). From each transaction, site administrators received 0.2 - 0.5% of the commission. However, none of the many clients knew who owned this profitable business.
Image courtesy of RNZ