Binance's spokesperson revealed that over 90% of suspended accounts are already unlocked.
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volumes, has blocked several accounts amid the Bitzlato investigation.
The news was revealed by Russian-speaking Binance clients. A group of individuals created a Telegram group and complained about not being able to withdraw funds or access their accounts on Binance.
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At the time of writing, the group on Telegram has over 1,000 members. In the group, several members openly admitted that they used Bitzlato to make transactions from Binance to Bitzlato and the other way around.
Despite the initial confusion, group members were quick to link the halt of services with enforcement actions towards Bitzlato from the United States Department of Justice and Europol. It is worth noting that the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network named Binance one of the “top three receiving counterparties” of Bitzlato Bitcoin (BTC) transactions.
Some Russian-speaking Telegram members stated:
Blockages in relation to Bitzlato are nonsense. They haven’t been proven guilty so far as there are only accusations, so how can this money be dirty?
Though I haven’t been banned anywhere yet, I just lost some on BTC-e, Wex, now it’s Bitzlato, but I consider these bans to be lawlessness.
When asked about the matter, a Binance spokesperson noted:
Last week, our compliance and investigations team, in relation to the Bitzlato case, suspended some users’ accounts from several countries including in Eastern Europe and the CIS.
Binance’s representative assured that over 90% of accounts are unlocked, and users were notified about the changes. Moreover, the representative claimed that less than 20 investors were affected by the temporary suspension. Despite that, a Binance spokesperson claims that they have given users “relevant law enforcement contract information.”
Binance’s spokesperson highlighted that “all funds are safe.”
It is worth noting that recently, Europol seized over $19 million (€ 18 million) worth of crypto from wallets tied to crypto exchange Bitzlato and “took down the service’s digital infrastructure in France.”