Bitcoins for DNR: militia Sailor buys controversial crypto currency exchange :: Finance :: RBC

The Russian bitcoin exchange Wex with a daily turnover of $20 million — the legal successor of the closed FBI exchange BTC-e — buys close to the former Prime Minister of the DPR former militiaman with the call sign Sailor. The deal can stand Konstantin Malofeev

Konstantin Malofeev

(Photo: Peter Antonov for RBC)

Pompous café Russe in the Ritz-Carlton hotel, 300 m from the Kremlin. In front of the correspondent of RBC sits a man in a simple jacket and t-shirt. Four years ago he was better known then as a volunteer with the call sign Sailor, participated in the process of transferring the Malaysian authorities flight recorders downed in the sky above the Donbass Boeing-777-200: removing hanging over the back of the machine, Sailor silently took them from a plain white bag of sugar, while the world media were filming the speech by the then Prime Minister DND Alexander Beard.

During the conversation the Sailor, whose name is Dmitry, Halchenko, constantly hiding my right hand behind the back of the chair: the war in Eastern Ukraine, he lost two fingers. Now he is a novice cryptovision: Chevchenko talks about plans to buy exchange-Wex, the legal successor cryptocurrency platform BTC-e, burst after his arrest in Greece at the request of the US Department of justice of the Russian Alexander winnick.

BTC-e worked from 2011 to July, 2017 and was the largest Russian-language platform for buying and selling cryptocurrency. Its creators cleverly hid behind nicknames dev and support, the latter name was Alex, wrote earlier RBC magazine. The history of stock market, the daily turnover which at its peak reached $66 million, ended in disaster. 25 July 2017, the Greek police, fulfilling the request of the justice Department, was detained on the beach in Chalkidiki Russian Alexander winnick, whom American authorities call one of the leaders of BTC-e.

At the same time the FBI visited a data center in new Jersey and arrested the servers of the exchange, completely paralysed its work. In the United States winnick faces up to 55 years in prison on charges of laundering of $4 billion to $9 billion.

In mid-September we launched a new exchange Wex.nz, which resembled BTC-e to design and functionality and has assumed obligations to customers broken the site. The official operator of the exchange listed Singaporean company World Exchange Services. Its sole founder is listed 31-year-old native of Minsk Dmitry Vasilyev, it was originally recorded domain Wex.nz follows from the Singapore registry data and the WhoIs service. Vasiliev studied and lived in St. Petersburg, but in 2012 went to China, where became interested in cryptocurrencies. In the last months BTC-e he was one of the largest customers, pad, trading in the interests of the Chinese partner: it was crossed by up to a third of all daily volumes, told RBC two close friends Vasiliev.

After the collapse of BTC-e Vasilyev contacted one of its founders, the mysterious programmer named Alex, known to its customers under the name support. “He wrote to him and offered his services to restart the exchange,” — says one of the familiar Vasileva. Response the condition was resolving problems with customers BTC-e and help in rescuing winnik adds another.

BTC-e earned again under a new name, being able to quickly regain part of the user. The customers were returned cryptocurrency assets equivalent to $500 million, details of which remain on backup servers, wrote RBC magazine in December 2017. Fiat balances, that is the traditional money used to buy bitcoins, “ether”, etc., were transferred to Wex-tokens (the equivalent of $200-400 million). Their leadership exchange promised to buy during the year due to profits from the operation of the site. By the end of 2017, the daily trading volume on the Wex was about $80 million, it closed the second decade of the world’s largest kryptomere (data from Coinmarketcap).

In parallel with the launch of the exchange Vasilyev performed the second condition of the founder of the exchange and made contact with Timothy Musatov, a lawyer winnik. In the end, the protection of the Russians drew Vasilyeva as an expert to testify in Thessaloniki, which examined the extradition case of Vinnik in the United States. According to one of the close friends Vasiliev, due to familiarity with Musatov he gradually entered the circle of conservative Russian it entrepreneurs, advocating for a strict sovereignty of the Russian Internet. Attorney is a business partner of Natalia Kasperskaya, he led the sale of its share in the “Kaspersky Lab” and helped to get her son Ivan, who was abducted in 2011, said the businessman and the husband of Kasperskaya Igor Ashmanov.

Vasilyev looking for the circle of support for your project, knowing that without influential patrons, he will not be able to work in Russia, says the man in his environment. “He searched the roof for exchange” — more accurately articulates the other. In the end, he could find support from the structures of the group owner of “Constantinople”, one of the founders of the League of safe Internet Konstantin Malofeev, according to the interlocutors of RBC magazine. Musatov has not confirmed the RBC magazine that introduced Vasilyev Malofeev, but added that, according to him, the head of the Wex was really looking for the support of the powerful. “As far as I know, he found her” — he concluded. Vasiliev himself refused to discuss the story.

Trying to figure out who is behind the Bourse, the correspondent of RBC magazine was presented by the person who urgently needs to buy bitcoins for a quarter of a million dollars.

Dmitry Hevchenko

(Photo: Evgeny Gurko / “Kommersant”)

Royal cryptogenic

In the spring of 2018 on core cryptoform reported from user artemcrpt about selling wexcode in any volume in Moscow. Wexcode — set of symbols which allows you to purchase bitcoin on the exchange Wex for cash. The mechanism of the transaction the following: a single user trading platform generates the code that passes it, he enters it into the system and bitcoins or “ether” goes to his wallet. Under this system, the transfer of funds takes place outside the exchange, while in the standard buying dollars, euros or rubles, first you need some way to make Wex — through the Bank or payment system.

The correspondent of RBC found artemcrpt profile in “Vkontakte”: under that name was hiding the native of the Perm Artyom Kiryanov, now living in Moscow. Posing as a potential customer, a journalist asked, where will be a deal. Carenow confirmed that it is working from the exchange Wex and said that when large amounts of the meeting is appointed in a shopping and business center “Novinsky passage” on the Garden ring in Moscow. It was there, on the fifth floor, is the office of the group of “Constantinople” Konstantin Malofeyev confirmed the RBC magazine in a management company “Novinsky passage”.

About the RBC meeting, the journalist agreed not to Baranovym, and his friends and another native of Perm, a venture capital investor and Vice-President of the Russian Association of cryptocurrency and blockchain does Sutormina. According to legend, the journalist wanted to buy bitcoins at $240 thousand in the interests of the partners before the deal asked that their representative carefully examined the place of Commission of sale. For these purposes, Sutormin tied the correspondent of RBC with a young man named Ivan.

Ivan is a young man in a cap with a wide visor — set up a meeting in a cafe on the ground floor “Novinsky passage”, warning that the first will have to check the passport. The test takes a minute: Ivan via phone sent someone data of RBC, then announced the verdict, you can go. Finally, carefully studied the photograph, finger — not glued whether.

Ivan took a reporter to the last, eighth floor at the business centre, at the end of a long corridor. In an empty room — a table, two chairs and an impressive size machine for counting banknotes. “You count the money, we get the code, enter it and run away?” — said the correspondent of the buying process cryptocurrencies. Ivan nodded, then warned: more than two people on a deal will not be allowed. Already leaving, the journalist told his companion, on the fifth floor of “Novinsky passage” company “Tsargrad” Konstantin Malofeyev and “cryptotest” rumor has it that she has some kind of relationship to Wex. “I’m not going to tell you anything specific, but good for you, you surprised me a little bit,” laughed Ivan.

After the office visit RBC again contacted Vladimir Sutormin, but as a journalist. He stated that exchanged their “personal codes”, although previously affirmatively answered the question whether he Wex, and promised to raise the daily limits on withdrawal of money from the stock exchange if necessary. Why he decided to sell their codes in the office in Novinsky Passazh, Sutormin did not tell. The interlocutor in an environment Vasiliev suggests that cooperation with the exchange sutormina would draw his business partner and another native of Perm Evgenie Shrikes. Have Zhulanova was a joint project with Konstantin Malofeev provider Nikita mobile content in 2014, Shrikes bought a share of the partner who wrote earlier RBC. Shrikes have not responded to questions sent to him through a representative.

The correspondent of RBC magazine several times unsuccessfully called Konstantin Malofeev, and then addressed your question via WhatsApp. The entrepreneur has read the message but did not answer. And an hour on the city’s revision number phoned, introduced Sergei and offered to discuss the situation around the exchange Wex with Dmitry Hevchenko, the militias of Donbass with the call sign Sailor.

Alexander Vinnik

(Photo: Petros Giannakouris / AP)

Sailor-millionaire

After the collapse of the Soviet Union 52-year-old native of the Crimea Dmitry Hevchenko lived and worked in Kiev. According to him, in the 1990s first half of 2000s he worked in the company “ITERA”, which was then engaged in the supply of Russian gas to Ukraine: in particular, Chevchenko one time was the head of debt “ITERA”. In 2007, he headed the Kyiv firm “Resursai”, “daughter” of the Russian SU-155, follows from the data of the Ukrainian service check contractors YouControl. In 2012, concerning it criminal case under article “Fraud”. He Hevchenko argues that the claim by the law enforcement agencies appeared after his quarrel with the “senior partner.” On the website of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine, Havenco is still wanted on charges of fraud, but an active participant of the “Russian spring” is hardly worried.

In March 2014, Chevchenko was in the “Crimean militia”, in may, crossed the border and went to fight in Donbass, selecting Callsign Sailor, he told the magazine RBC. Then he met with Alexander Boroday, a Russian strategist, the Prime Minister of DNR from may to August 2014 and former consultant of Konstantin Malofeev. “Friend” and “comrade”, says Havenco Beard, but the details of his stay in the Donbass says. In August 2014 he was injured, was amputated two fingers. In 2015, Chevchenko led the Crimean branch of the Union of volunteers of the Donbass, the head of which was Boroday.

Avchenko says that cryptocurrency was interested before the war in the Donbass. In his opinion, the blockchain technology allows you to transfer money in all of the unrecognized Republic, bypassing the sanctions danger — not only in the DNI and LC, but also in Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. At the end of April 2018, Chevchenko concluded with Dmitry Vasilyev, an agreement of intent under which the parties previously agreed deal to sell the exchange Wex. “Vasilev was a Manager at Wex. Due to various force majeure events that have occurred with the exchange, he had the right to sell. We want to buy,” he explains.

The provisional amount of the transaction, Chevchenko refused to name the source, surrounded by Vasilyev speaks about several million dollars. The former volunteer says that the money to buy his own and no “Constantinople”, nor any other structure, it loans to take does not intend, moreover, nothing to “Constantinople”, he has not. In the case of completion of the transaction, the exchange team will move to the Crimea, and the management company will be registered, for example, in one of the unrecognized republics. Hevchenko also intends to resolve the issues of ownership of one of the founders of BTC-e — the mysterious Alex, who lives somewhere in the far East. “The secret owners will be no more. I decided to become cryptomerioides” — sums up Hevchenko.

Vasilyev confirmed the fact of negotiations and said that Jan is no longer involved in managing the exchange and relationships with partners at an impasse, without having specified, about whom exactly there is a speech. “Plan to sell to pursue other projects,” he said. According to the interlocutor in its environment, gradually his team were pushed by other people related to the new backers of the project. A major client Wex argues that solved the problem with his account at the exchange with people associated with “Constantinople”.

Hevchenko confirmed that it now has “some influence” on the current work of the exchange, but it is not enough: an obligation to purchase tokens is not met, since the beginning of the year, trading volume fell from $100 million a day to $20 million, and it is not only in reducing the cost of bitcoin — Wex did not hold positions in the ranking of the largest sites from twenty fell in the middle of hundreds (data from Coinmarketcap). Sailor believes that this is due to the identity of the head: Vasiliev, in his opinion, a good startup, but a bad Manager. After the purchase he promises to make Wex “powerful and Patriotic project”.

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