Between 2017 and 2020, thousands of crypto licenses have been issued in Estonia for the operation of exchanges and wallet (payment) services. Estonia has become the mecca of the crypto payment industry in the EU. Many of the new entrants have positioned themselves primarily as facilitators of illegal transactions and scams. In the last 12 months, hundreds of these new crypto providers have disappeared. The FIU revoked their licenses or did not renew them in some cases. However, Zichain OÜ still has and active FIU license but has disappeared anyway.
|FIU Estonia with license no FVT000270
http://www.airpalas.com (no login/registration)
|Khachatur Gukasyan (LinkedIn)
Viktor Aadler (LinkedIn)
Ekaterina Matveeva (LinkedIn)
Viacheslav Timerbulatov (LinkedIn)
In the fading cryptohype between 2018 and 2019, Zichain conducted an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), reportedly raising around $3.3 million from investors through the issuance of its ZCN token. At the time, Russian Khachatur Gukasyan (pictured left) did massive marketing for Zichain as its founder and CEO. Most of the people linked to Zichain on LinkedIn are based in Russia; the vanished Zichain was a Russian venture with close ties into the Israeli scam scene. Zichain director Viktor Aadler is likely to be only a nominee for the beneficial owners.
In October 2020, the Estonian FIU granted Zichain OÜ a crypto license (FVT000270) that is still valid today. The company was the operator of the websites Zichain.eu, CryptoEye.com. Rashbe.com and AirPalas.com. Only the latter is still online but neither login nor registration are possible.
In Jan 2021, we exposed that Zichain is massively involved in broker scam operations. In March 2021, we discovered Zichain as a payment facilitator in the Insta Trading scam. Sometime after that, the websites disappeared.
If you have any information about Zichain, its operators and partners, please let us know via our whistleblower system, Whistle42.