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Bitzlato Means "Buckle Up"

US officials say the Hong Kong exchange is a "high-tech financial hub that catered to 'known crooks'" and alleges US$700 million of illicit funds processed.

The US government recently arrested and charged Bitzlato, along with its' founder, with money laundering related crimes. We have no additional information regarding the allegations themselves. But the document is filled with an incredible range of quotes – presumably from surveillance – that make the Shenzhen-based crypto exchange look awfully bad.

Given the details of the evidence presented in the charging documents, Bitzlato executives and employees all did a lot of stuff they'll struggle to defend. Here, we are going to set aside the question of whether the US government should go after money laundering crimes all over the world.

It is empirically true that US prosecutors view these actions as within their remit. And the actions themselves are wild. Doubly so as nearly everyone involved makes clear, repeatedly and in writing, that they knew what they were doing was wrong.

The interesting questions are "how did we get here?" and "what does this signal about the future?"

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