Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitfinex linked to money laundering

Hong Kong based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex is facing increased pressure following allegations that its platform has been used in relation to money laundering and Colombian drug cartels. So far the platform has denied any involvement with illegal mishandlings of its platform however the investigation still remains in its early stages.

The news follows on from events that unfolded on Friday which saw Polish authorities seize $371 million from accounts in a small Co-operative bank in Skierniewice, located in central Poland. It has since come to light that the two companies tied to the accounts have been implicated in money laundering and illicit activities tied to defrauding the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CCN then reported that on top of this the accounts are also connected to a cryptocurrency exchange, which is now revealed to be Bitfinex. In relation to the accounts a number of Polish Bitfinex users are believed to have been interviewed by authorities, and though there are suspected links of the accounts eventually laundering money for Colombian drug cartels, this is yet to be proved.

Now running for six years, Bitfinex trades in over eleven currencies and pitches itself as ‘the World’s largest and most advanced cryptocurrency trading platform’ and has a daily trading volume of around $70 million. It also has a sister cryptocurrency, Tether, which is another prominent contender in the cryptocurrency world. Bitfinex has however already faced some issues such as a hack in 2016 which saw 70 million worth of coins stolen, the second biggest hack of its kind after the Mt.Gox exchange. In 2017, fiat deposits were also stopped which meant that only cryptocurrencies are supported and users cannot fund their accounts with USD. Despite some setbacks the platform has seen a steady increase in users throughout this time and remains a key contender in the exchange sphere.

The platform is yet to release an official statement regarding its involvement in recent events, yet some users are beginning to question why Bitfinex is remaining so quiet on Twitter and Reddit amidst the allegations. According to ‘Kethfinex’ a user associated with the platform on Reddit, an official statement on the events was to be released two days ago, however, the account has since also remained quiet.

 

So far no charges have been made in relation this weekend’s events, however we will update this story if any related news surfaces. 

About the author

Tamara Davison

The Medellin-based Mancunian started her journalism career in a London startup and has since travelled around the globe covering arts and culture news, as well as climbing the Himalayas and being lost in remote places. She claims her knowledge of Bitcoin is a healthy obsession that she picked whilst studying the fascinating repercussions new technology has around the world.

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