BTC-e’s domain was confiscated by the FBI last week after the arrest of Alexander Vinnik who was known to be laundering stolen MtGox funds via BTC-E. According to a latest update by BTC-e on bitcointalk, they will start issuing refunds by September 1 if they couldnt start to operate again till the end of August.
BTC-e Fined and Domain Confiscated
During the previous few weeks, BTC-e has been in news for the apparent laundering of stolen Mtgox funds and the subsequent arrest of Alexander Vinnyk who was previously thought to be a head employee of BTC-e. A total of $4 Billion are thought to be illegally laundered through BTC-e till date. Following the arrest of Alexander Vinnyk, trading was suspended on BTC-e. Last week, the BTC-e domain was confiscated by the FBI and a fine of $110 million was imposed on BTC-e. A total of $90 Million in Ethereum was also siezed by the FBI. This led to a worldwide panic for BTC-e customers who had funds on BTC-e. A change.org petition was started by the BTC-e customers that had funds on BTC-e to ask the FBI to return the funds of legal customers which can prove their funds were acquired legally.
Updates by BTC-e
During all this chaos, ignoring all the news, BTC-e went on twitter to announce that they are offline due to some issues and will be available again in a few days. Offering no explanation to the customers and saying being available in a few days seemed way too far fetched.
Just now, BTC-e posted an update on Bitcointalk that their servers have been confiscated by the FBI which contained the database of the customers and their funds. They were not available to update anything since their hosting company didnt offer any sane information to them. A part of their server facility has been arrested by the FBI and they are exploring their options to restore the service and obtain the funds from the FBI. If they are not able to restore their service till the end of August, they will start issuing refunds from whatever money is available to them. They have also officially declared that Alexander Vinnyk was never the head employee of their service.
It is unlikely that BTC-e will be able to offer full refunds to everyone but anything will be better than nothing. The bitcoin experts have always advised to keep as less funds as you can on bitcoin exchanges due the history of hacks and now this confiscation. Never the less, the update is a good news for the BTC-e customers that were left in worries.
Let us know in the comments what you think will happen. Will BTC-e able to offer refunds?