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Who Transferred 10K Bitcoin From Wallet Linked to the Failed BTC-e Exchange?

A crypto wallet attributed to the BTC-e exchange that’s been linked to the 2014 Mt. Gox hack burst into life Wednesday with its largest transaction since August 2017, sending a total of 10,000 bitcoin, worth around $165 million, to two unidentified recipients, according to CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakova.

This article originally appeared in Market Wrap, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today’s crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

As part of the transaction, which occurred around 08:38 UTC, a wallet that received 3,500 bitcoin forwarded 300 BTC to another destination. That was split further and landed in several wallets not attributed to any known custodial service.

The distribution pattern is open to interpretation: It’s possible the wallet owner simply sent the money to other wallets of their own, sent it to other people or cashed out through an unofficial over-the-counter broker. The remaining 6,500 stayed put.

Mt. Gox, the first bitcoin exchange, was robbed of 744,408 BTC and shut permanently in 2014. Alexander Vinnik, alleged to be the operator of BTC-e – which he denies – was arrested in 2017 at a resort near Thessaloniki, Greece, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice on money laundering and other allegations.

The wallet involved in Wednesday’s transaction was attributed to BTC-e by blockchain analytics system Crystal Blockchain. The transfer was noticed by Russian crypto entrepreneur Sergey Mendeleev, who published the observation in his Telegram channel.

The discovery comes as the crypto industry suffers through its latest debacle, the collapse of FTX and fallout that has affected multiple companies touching the crypto exchange and its affiliated companies.

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