- Bitzlato, a cryptocurrency exchange, has restored access to 50% of frozen assets despite being seized by European authorities.
- Withdrawals from Bitzlato are processed in Bitcoin, and users can withdraw funds via the Telegram bot - bz_phoenix_bot.
- Bitzlato's roadmap aims to restore the platform and resume services by early April 2023, providing peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading.
Bitzlato, a Russia-linked cryptocurrency exchange, has partially restored access to user funds despite being officially seized by European authorities.
The exchange has enabled its users to withdraw up to 50% of assets that were stuck on the platform due to enforcement from the United States and Europol.
According to the statement released by the company on its Telegram channel on March 20, Bitzlato users can now restore half of their assets using the Telegram bot – bz_phoenix_bot. This bot allows users to move assets from the web Bitzlato account to an external wallet or exchange.
Bitzlato’s withdrawal process
All withdrawals from Bitzlato are processed in Bitcoin, as the platform converted all altcoin holdings by users into BTC when the service was halted on Jan. 18.
Bitzlato had to convert user balances to Bitcoin due to technical difficulties associated with servicing multiple altcoins after the platform was seized.
While some users have been able to move their Bitcoin to exchanges such as ByBit and Binance, others have opted to wait until the platform is fully restored before making any further withdrawals.
Users can now withdraw a portion of the funds they had with the crypto exchange when it was busted by French and U.S. authorities in mid-January.
The minimum withdrawal amount is 0.001 BTC, and the commission is 0.0003 BTC. Withdrawals can be ordered through a Telegram bot, and users need to provide the email address of their Bitzlato account. Upon verification, a code necessary to complete the transfer is generated and sent to that email inbox.
According to Bitzlato’s previously announced roadmap, the company will continue its work to restore the platform and aims to provide a service for peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency trading by early April 2023.
While some users have already withdrawn 50% of their funds, others have opted to wait for the P2P platform to be restored, enabling them to access all previously available functions.
Bitzlato is a Hong Kong-registered cryptocurrency exchange that has been linked to Russia. Its France-based server infrastructure was seized by Western law enforcement in January.
The US Justice Department announced that the exchange had processed over $700m of illicit funds, while Europol said the figure was over $1bn.
The alleged dirty money was related to various criminal activities and actors, including Hydra, the former largest darknet market, and Russia’s biggest crypto pyramid scheme, Finiko.
The exchange is still facing legal and financial difficulties due to its seizure by Western law enforcement agencies. However, the company is working to restore its platform and resume its services, and some users are already able to withdraw their funds.
Bitzlato’s plans to restore its P2P platform and the return of its clients’ remaining funds are significant steps towards regaining its users’ trust.