Binance was final destination for millions in funds from Bitzlato, exchange shut down for alleged money laundering

Data from Arkham Intelligence shows that tens of millions of dollars flowed from an alleged nexus of money laundering, Bitzlato, through intermediate wallets to Binance, the

world's largest crypto exchange. A FinCEN complaint from Wednesday noted that Binance was Bitzlato's largest counterparty, but blockchain data reveals rudimentary efforts to

conceal where funds came from before they arrived in Binance custody. Binance and its chief executive, Changpeng Zhao, are reportedly under federal scrutiny over anti-money

laundering compliance. Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment against a little-known crypto exchange called Bitzlato on Wednesday, alleging that it facilitated the

laundering of $700 million in tainted crypto tied to the now-shuttered dark-web market Hydra, and millions more in ransomware proceeds. Blockchain data shows that tens of

millions of dollars that passed through Bitzlato ultimately ended up in Binance deposit wallets, despite the stringent anti-money laundering standards that Binance says it has

implemented. Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, has not been connected to any criminal activity, nor have regulators accused it of knowingly accepting

illicit funds, although the exchange is reportedly under its own criminal probe by the Department of Justice in relation to its compliance with anti-money laundering, or AML,

laws. The movement of Bitzlato's funds raises questions about the efficacy of Binance's AML practices, especially given that Binance's own outside AML vendor, Chainalysis,

issued a report in February 2022 estimating that 48% of Bitzlato's 2019-2021 cryptocurrency receipts were "illicit or risky."