10,000 BTC moves from crypto wallet linked to Mt. Gox hack
A crypto wallet belonging to the defunct crypto exchange BTC-e has just moved 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC), currently worth over $165 million, to various exchanges, personal wallets and other sources on November 23rd.
A Nov. 23 chain analysis report suggested that while this withdrawal is the largest BTC-e has made since April 2018, BTC-e and WEX — an exchange believed to be BTC-e’s successor — both sent small amounts of BTC to the Russian electronic payment service Webmoney on October 26 before making a test payment on November 11, then transferring another 100 BTC on November 21.
Of the total amount sent, 9,950 BTC is believed to still be located in personal wallets, while the rest was moved through intermediaries before ending up in four deposit addresses in two major exchanges.
Blockchain analytics firm Cryptoquant co-founder and CEO Ki Young Ju also confirmed the findings, noting that 0.6% of funds were sent to exchanges and may represent sell-side liquidity.
In a tweet on November 24, Young Ju shared images of the transfer highlighting that BTC had been in the wallet for over seven years.
7-year-old 10,000 $BTC moved today.
No surprise, it’s from criminals, like most of the old Bitcoins. It is the BTC-e exchange wallet related to the 2014 Mt. Gox hack.
They sent another 65 BTC @hitbtc a few hours ago, so it’s not a government auction or anything. pic.twitter.com/Sp2higUqbq
— Ki Young Ju (@ki_young_ju) 24 November 2022
Young Ju also mentioned that 65 BTC had been transferred to the crypto exchange HitBTC and asked them to delay the account for suspicious activity.
Related: Crypto has survived worse than the fall of FTX: Chainalysis
Mt. Gox was a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange that once accounted for more than 70% of Bitcoin transactions. In 2014, the exchange was hacked with thousands of Bitcoins stolen and the exchange filed for bankruptcy shortly after.
BTC-e, which had its servers located in the United States, had its website shut down and funds seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2017 following allegations that it was involved in money laundering, including crypto stolen during Mt. Gox exchange hack.
According to Chainalysis, at the time of the shutdown, BTC-e still had “a significant amount of Bitcoin”, and in April 2018 moved over 30,000 BTC out of the service wallet.
While the owners of BTC-e sought to remain anonymous, Alexander Vinnik is believed to be the main operator and has been involved in legal battles for the past five years as a result.
A WizSecurity report released in 2017 claimed that BTC-e and Vinnik were directly involved in the theft of Mt. Gox Bitcoin and user funds, with the latter forced to suspend trading and shut down the site following the losses.