French prosecutors say Vinnik was one of the creators of malware called “Locky” which was delivered through email. If downloaded, the recipient’s data was encrypted and they were asked to pay a ransom in bitcoin to free it.
Vinnik, 41, says he was a only technical consultant at BTC-e and had no knowledge of illegal activity. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The United States also wants to prosecute Vinnik, accusing him of laundering billions of dollars through BTC-e. He was arrested at the request of U.S. authorities in the summer of 2017 while on vacation in northern Greece,
In January after he was extradited to France, Vinnik began a 35-day hunger strike saying he wanted to be extradited first to Russia, where he faces lesser charges.