In January, a federal grand jury indicted five people on charges of running a bitcoin exchange, including two of the co-founders of the company.
The charges, including money laundering and money laundering conspiracy, were handed down on January 17.
The indictment also named three people, including the alleged owner of the exchange, and three more individuals, who are accused of laundering funds that were allegedly transferred to and from accounts in the United States.
The other defendants are also accused of money laundering.
But the indictment was quickly criticized for failing to detail the alleged money laundering scheme, and it has led to a wave of criticism from the US government.
The DOJ is attempting to shut the site down, and some Bitcoin advocates are calling for it to be shut down for the same reason.
However, some Bitcoin enthusiasts argue that it is not only a case of an unbalanced indictment, but a problem with the government itself.
Bitcoiners are demanding that the government release documents that could show the exact nature of the alleged laundering scheme.
“I’m really concerned that we’re seeing these indictments, we’re not seeing the documents that are going to show the full picture of this,” said Mike Caldwell, a Bitcoin entrepreneur who co-founded a digital currency exchange called BitMEX.
“They’ve tried to paint it as a money laundering operation, but there’s a lot of holes in the indictment.”
Caldwell said he is worried that the charges are being rushed through without a proper analysis.
“It’s like, oh, it’s not a money launderer, it just happens to be the case that they are indicting some people who were in the same room at the same time,” Caldwell said.
“I’m a little bit worried.”
In an email to CoinDesk, a spokesperson for the DOJ declined to comment on whether the indictment is an effort to shut Bitcoin exchanges down.
The US government has not made any statements to the press about the charges against the individuals, nor has it responded to questions about why it is acting so quickly in taking down Bitcoin exchanges in the first place.
But Caldwell said he has a lot to ask of the US justice system.
“They’ve indicted people who are not even going to get charged in the future,” Caldwell explained.
“The question is, what is going on with this government, why are they not putting the information together to get a handle on this?”
Caldfield added that the bitcoin community should be asking the same questions, and he’s not afraid to be a voice for his community in the face of the government.
“If they’re not going to do this, we have a lot more work to do,” Caldwell concluded.
The arrests of the five co-owners of BitMex have come a week after the indictment of two other people in the case.
According to a statement from the Justice Department, one of the people arrested on Monday was also a co-founder of the Bitcoin exchange.
The other two defendants were identified as James K. Brown, 31, and Steven L. Guggenheim, 35.
Brown has been in custody since January 26, while Guglenheim was released from jail on January 28.
The arrest of Gugenheim came just two days after a New York City-based Bitcoin exchange was seized by authorities.
The New York Department of Financial Services said it has seized more than $2.2 million in Bitcoin from the digital currency’s owner, a Chinese man named Wu Xingqiang.
The government alleges that Wu, who runs the exchange out of his home in the city of Shanghai, used the digital cryptocurrency to facilitate illicit activities that included money laundering, money laundering conspiracies, money transmission schemes, and wire fraud, as well as numerous other offenses.
The charges against Wu come after authorities seized the digital coins from the company’s Hong Kong headquarters, as part of a larger crackdown on the virtual currency.
Wu has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Authorities in Hong Kong have been under a microscope for years, and many have accused the authorities there of being too soft on Bitcoin.
In 2015, the Hong Kong government cracked down on a Bitcoin exchange called BTC-e, which offered trading in the digital currencies.
In the wake of the crackdown, a group of US and Chinese law enforcement officials visited the company and asked for help in the fight against money laundering in Hongkong.
The visit resulted in the company agreeing to a $2 million fine from the Hongkongs Securities and Futures Commission, which also fined BTC-E for not registering its Hong Kong address as a foreign entity.
“The Chinese government has been targeting Bitcoin for some time, and its recent crackdown on digital currencies is a reminder that the U.S. government cannot be seen as being neutral in its pursuit of criminals and terrorists,” Matthew B. Lee, chief operating officer at the HongKong office of the DOJ, said in a statement announcing the enforcement actions.
“Today’s action is the culmination of