Shuttered Crypto Exchange Bitzlato Says It Plans to Resume Operations: Report
The co-founder of Hong Kong-based crypto exchange Bitzlato, which had been charged with money laundering and had its servers seized in a major international operation earlier this month, said the company plans to resume operating and allow partial withdrawals of user funds, according to Forklog, which summarized a YouTube interview in Russian given by the co-founder.
Anton Shkurenko, whose co-founder Anatoly Legkodymov was arrested in the law enforcement operation along with several other Bitzlato executives, said that police had seized the platform’s hot wallet, which contained about 35% of user funds in all cryptocurrencies at the time.
But Shkurenko said the exchange would reopen at an unspecified time, and that he could say with “100% certainty” that “we will allow 50% of user funds in bitcoin held in Bitzlato wallets to be withdrawn on the same day we launch. For other cryptocurrencies, the launch will be gradual.”
The previously little-known exchange was charged in mid-January with laundering over $700 million in funds tied to criminals in Russia. Legkodymov is a Russian citizen and majority owner of Bitzlato who was living in China and was arrested in Miami.
The European Union police agency Europol said Bitzlato had exchanged over $1 billion in assets linked to criminal activities.