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Shutdown Over: Bitzlato All Set to Resume Operations!

The crypto exchange Bitzlato is set to resume operations after the two-week-long sting operation led by Europol and other international authorities. Bitzalo was accused of laundering money for Russian cybercrime syndicates through its platform — an allegation leveled by American and French authorities.

The exchange got a double whammy with a coordinated operation in Portugal, Spain, and Cyprus, who, as a result, arrested the platform’s sysadmin. Although eventually freed, Bitzlato was dubbed ‘the crypto bad boy’ after the raid, with Europol calculating 46% of its transactions had some links to criminal activity.

What’s more, the platform is said to have had over 1.5 million BTC passing through it in tandem with the defunct dark web platform called Hydramarket. According to U.S. authorities, these transactions amounted to around $700 million, prompting money laundering charges on the platform’s management.

Bitzlato Denies Everything!

Bitzlato refuted the claims, and its initiator, previously held in Miami, has been freed, asserting intentions to promptly reestablish the platform. In a recent interview, Legkodymov, founder of Bitzalo opened up about what really happened. According to him, the raid was carried out due to the platform’s intention to move to the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. Seeing as the founder is already free, it’s probable that the authorities didn’t have enough evidence to hold Bitzlato’s management responsible for any particular law violation.

When asked about the hot wallet containing a part of the users’ funds, Legkodymov confirmed that it was indeed seized by the authorities – most probably in France, where a large part of Bitzlato’s servers were being stored. However, he added, the hot wallet was coded in such a way that it is useless to the authorities and the funds within will eventually be returned to Bitzlato in the nearest future. Recently Binance blocked some accounts amid the Bitzalo case.