According to tracing that was revealed this week at the Black Hat USA Conference, BTC-e was the Bitcoin exchange that serviced over 95% of all the ransomware extortion payments globally since 2014. Researchers wrote scripts that extracted payments to Bitcoin wallet addresses to determine what exchanges was used for extortion payments. The research also showed that ransomware extortion payments exceeded US$2 million per month in 2016, its most lucrative year.
The corporate entity behind the BTC-e Bitcoin exchange was indicted this week by the US as was its director, officer and founder, Alex Vinnik, who was arrested in Greece. He will be extradited to the US to face charges that include money laundering and running a MSB without the requisite AML registration and policies and procedures.