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Bitcoin [BTC] fraud main suspect Alexander Vinnik files request for extradition to Russia

Akash Anand



Bitcoin [BTC] fraud main suspect Alexander Vinnik files request for extradition to Russia

The cryptocurrency market has witnessed many people taking advantage of its unsupervised and decentralized nature, with many falling prey to frauds and large scale financial manipulation. One of the main examples of a cryptocurrency proponent caught in the mix was Alexander Vinnik, the founder and CEO of the now-defunct BTC-e, a Bitcoin exchange that was accused of money laundering worth $4 billion.

According to latest reports, Vinnik, who has been detained in a Greek jail for the last 19 months, has requested for extradition to his homeland, Russia. The 39-year-old Russian nation is suspected of Bitcoin fraud and is wanted by three countries on various criminal charges. On Thursday, he lodged an appeal with a Piraeus court for his “release or extradition to Russia for humanitarian reasons”.

Alexander Vinnik has been on a hunger strike for the past 3 months; a decision that has taken a toll on his health. Many in the cryptoverse have attacked the decisions taken by the Greek court to keep Vinnik locked up for 19 months, when the maximum term for any pre-trial detention is 18 months.

The founder was arrested in Greece way back in July 2017. Since then, countries such as the US, Russia and France have requested his extradition. His lawyer claimed that even though many people used BTC-e for nefarious purposes, Vinnik was completely innocent. The lawyer recently said:

“Vinnik is not supposed to be in jail right now. Many businessmen used the exchange to sidestep legal authorities and many of the charges on him were not illegal at the time of Vinnik’s arrest.”

Excluding Vinnik’s latest request, the Greek courts have approved requests from Russia, France and the US, with the onus now upon Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou to determine Vinnik’s fate. When Vinnik was arrested, he had a total of 21 criminal charges leveled against him. US prosecutor Brian Stretch had said:

“Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin provide people around the world new and innovative ways of engaging in legitimate commerce. As this case demonstrates, however, just as new computer technologies continue to change the way we engage each other and experience the world, so too will criminals subvert these new technologies to serve their own nefarious purposes.”

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Bitcoin [BTC] surges above $5,500 and breaks major resistance level; collective market rises




Bitcoin [BTC] surges above $5,500 breaking major resistance level; collective market surges
Source: Pixabay

Bitcoin [BTC] broke out of its sideways trend that saw coins fall after a brilliant start to April. This “break-out” is especially significant since it came days after the coin was trading sluggishly, pulling the market cap below $175 billion.

After breaking the $5,200 level on April 16, the coin held steady, showing no noticeable dips. However, it also began losing the momentum it had gained when it rose by 15 percent on April 2. Many saw the past week as Bitcoin losing steam, opining that a drop to as low as $4,000 would manifest. This pessimism coupled with the delisting dilemma saw the global market decline by 3.31 percent over the past weekend.

Given this backdrop, the present Bitcoin price incline was even more bullish for the collective market. Further, this was not just an effort to shrug off “sideways bears,” but instead, two key levels were broken in order to usher a collective market rise and sustain BTC bullishness.

Source: Trading View


The first, as indicated by eToro’s senior market analyst Mati Greenspan, was the resistance level of $5,350. When Bitcoin began to consolidate following the early April high, Greenspan stated that if the BTC price were to punch above the aforementioned level, it “would likely serve as confirmation that we’re pushing higher and will lead to further buying pressure.”

Greenspan stated that the $5,350 level acted as a major support level throughout 2018. Hence, it is incredibly important that Bitcoin surge above it in the next rise to consolidate buying pressure. Another important point to signal the coming of a bullish market was the 200-day moving average which Bitcoin has stayed above since the April 2 rally.


The other significant level for the collective market is Bitcoin’s ascendance over $5,500, which it managed courtesy of this rally. Many, including Greenspan, pegged $5,000 as a key psychological level for the coin and hence, the rise above $5,500 less than three weeks after $5,000 was broken will bring back optimism to the BTC market.

Further, as was seen in the April 2 rise, the Bitcoin pump resulted in the king coin increasing its market dominance. At the close of March, Bitcoin was edging closer to losing the majority. However, the rally saw its share increase to 52.4 percent within a day. Following this recent 4.61 percent increase against the US Dollar, the king coin’s dominance increased to 53.2 percent.

Given the elasticity of the collective market to changes in Bitcoin’s price, the market was awash in green as Bitcoin broke the resistance and psychological levels. Amid this bullish charge, some coins stood out for their above-average gains, which included Bitcoin Cash [BCH], Cardano [ADA], EOS [EOS], Litecoin [LTC], and the exchange-ousted Bitcoin SV [BSV].

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