Recently one of the victims has come forward with the idea of publishing an article about the whole BTC-24 dillema. The main idea behind this was to put some extra pressure on the Polish prosecutor into releasing the funds.
To sum up the current situation; the funds from the Polish BTC24 account has been frozen and is under criminal investigation. However this investigation has been pending for roughly 4 years now without any outcome. An outcome would be taking the case to court or drop it. The latter option ofcourse means release of the frozen funds to BTC24/Simon.
At the moment it appears the prosecutor will have to make a decision about the case as it simply cannot be under investigation indefinitely. The exact details as of when a decision has to be made is unknown at this point. I'm in close contact with our lawyer to keep updated about the case.
In the meantime the article can be read at: https://www.fuw.ch/article/wenn-bitcoins-sicherer-sind-als-euros/
Hopefully it will have some effect. Special thanks to the writer of the article and victims who have put their time into it, you know who you are!
For years, the Polish authorities have kept euro banknotes from users of the former Bitcoin-24 Bitcoin-24 under lock and key.
There is no justification on request.
Under normal circumstances, deposits in Euro are considered safer than those in Bitcoin. This is not the case with the demise of the Bitcoin-24 Bitcoin exchange in the spring of 2013. While the customers of the stock exchange soon received their Bitcoin credit, a large portion of their euro balances are still frozen in Poland, caught in the mills of the local justice system ,
Bitcoin-24 was the world's second-largest Bitcoin stock market before its collapse, behind the notorious MtGox, which was less than a year later spectacularly undermining customer deposits worth several hundred million.
Many Bitcoin users did not trust MtGox quite early, and therefore turned to Bitcoin-24. Had Bitcoin-24 survived, it could now be one of the world's largest Bitcoin exchanges, in a market with a daily trading volume of over $ 1 billion.
Inconsistencies in the trading system
In 2013, the trading volume was much smaller. A good selection of exchanges existed then also not yet. The operating exchanges were only because they did not worry about the associated lengthy regulatory issues. In contrast, the legal situation is clearer today, and most stock exchanges now adhere strictly to the relevant regulations.
Bitcoin-24 was founded by a young German computer science student, who was probably overwhelmed by the rapid growth of the whole. So there were occasional inconsistencies in the trading system.
Overall, however, the stock exchange worked until the German prosecutor's office carried out a house search because of the suspicions of money laundering and froze all German bank accounts. Like the Germans, the Prosecutor's Office of Poland, where Bitcoin-24 encamped a few million euros in customer deposits with Bank Zachodni.
Accounts frozen because of hackers
But why were the accounts frozen? The main problem of Bitcoin-24 and many other Bitcoin exchanges was that they were always given money from hacked bank accounts. Such hacks are probably more widespread than most banks want to admit.
In any case, it seems common practice of banks to close the accounts of Bitcoin exchanges after few received payments from hacked accounts; Even if the recipient is uninvolved and the latter returns the money as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the exact circumstances of the Bitcoin 24 case are unknown, as the founder, on the advice of his lawyers, became more and more taciturn during the course of the story and increasingly withdrew from direct contact with the users.
Polish prosecutor threatens with arrest
The various threats against his person were probably also not beneficial to the open communication. It is known, however, that he tried to repay the credit balances of the customers as soon as possible. With the Bitcoin credit this was fast and uncomplicated because they can not be frozen.
The repayment of customer deposits, which were stored in a Euro account of Commerzbank ( CBK 10.325 0.93% ) , lasted somewhat longer. After about two months, however, the German judiciary saw that the freezing of all customer assets was disproportionate, and released them again.
The competent public prosecutor in Poland, however, keeps the millions there until now indefinitely, without giving any conclusive justification and without access to the files. A request for an opinion on the procedure remains unanswered. He would like to ask the founder on the spot, but at the same time he threatens to be arrested on entry and several years in prison.
What is the basis of confiscation?
On the other hand, the attorneys of Bitcoin-24, Röhl, Dehm and Partner find clear words in a statement to the users concerned: "First of all, the situation in Poland and the action of the Polish prosecutor's office are becoming more and more unpleasant Legal concept is no longer compatible ... .Despite the fact that the Polish public prosecutor's office apparently did not understand the system of the stock market of our client and also does not seem willing to understand the system ... However, the court did not To recognize what was really the real foundation of the confiscation. This behavior is hardly comprehensible and raises an enormous bad light on the judiciary in Poland. "
In the case of Bitcoin-24, users with credits in Bitcoin are therefore significantly better than those with credits in euros. Their euro balances threaten to seep away in a state apparatus, which would actually be there to protect the rights and property of the citizens.
Unfortunately, those affected can not claim their claims directly, and have had to learn so costly that property is not necessarily safer if the state can at any time bring it into its own hands, and that a functioning judicial system is not self-evident.