A very good and detailed investigative report has been published by vsquare.org on the shady and Russian-linked crypto industry in Estonia. The Baltics are serving as a safe haven for financial and crypto companies that get their licenses rejected in Western Europe, and in fact, one of these crypto-related companies that found a safe haven in Lithuania after having been rejected by Irish and Maltese regulators is Binance.
Binance claims that its European headquarters is in Paris, but some of its major activities in Europe are conducted by its mother company Bifinity that is registered in Lithuania as a payments processor and currency exchange. Bifinity is the owner of Binance’s companies in Ireland and the companies in Ireland own the companies registered in Malta. Binance uses small European companies like those it has in Malta and Ireland to move its funds from Bifinity and other larger European companies as it masquerades its revenue for its Maltese companies as “consultancy” activity. Forbes has reported that Bifinity even transferred up to $7 billion to Merit Peak Merit Peak is an offshore trading firm that is being accused by the SEC of having commingled Binance’s corporate and clients’ funds to maximize Binance’s profits. Binance is basically being suspected of gambling with clients’ funds, however, this is all separate from a current and ongoing investigation by the DOJ on Binance over money laundering and sanction breaking.
If the crypto industry in Estonia is heavily intertwined with Russian businesses and state banks, one wouldn’t expect a very different story with Lithuania’s crypto industry, especially if Lithuania is accepting rejects from Estonia.