FBI Has Gained Control Of Our Wallets: Bitcoin Exchange BTC-e

Troubled cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e has said its downtime was due to “FBI agents entering its data center.”

In a post in Russian on BitcoinTalk Monday, BTC-e, which has been down for almost a week, said it had struggled for six days to get answers from its hosting provider.

The post also stated that Alexander Vinnik, the Russian citizen arrested in Greece last week on money laundering charges, had “never been in charge of” the service.

“Future updates will include information about what options we have for restoring the service and how to regain control of our reserves,” it continued, adding the FBI had gained control of domains where its wallets are located July 25.

“If we cannot restart our service by the end of August, we’ll begin returning funds from Sep. 1.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced last week it was seeking $110 mln from BTC-e for flouting anti-money laundering rules.

Previous updates on Twitter had suggested normal service would resume by Aug. 6, but this now appears to be considerably less likely.

“In the coming one to two weeks we’ll be assessing and publishing information about the amount of funds now in the hands of the FBI and the amount available for returning [to customers],” the post confirmed.