Massive $237 Million Bitcoin Whale Movement Linked to Alleged Crypto Ponzi Scheme
Four Bitcoin transactions totaling 22,923 BTC and worth a collective $237 million may be connected to an alleged crypto Ponzi scheme.
Crypto whale watchers spotted the movements on Saturday, which all took place between wallets of unknown origin at exactly the same time: 3:17 a.m. PST.
- 4,923 BTC worth $51.6 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet
- 7,000 BTC worth $72.4 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet
- 5,000 BTC worth $51.7 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet
- 6,000 BTC worth $62.0 million transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet
According to the crypto tracker Whale Alert, the transactions are likely from PlusToken, a platform created in 2018 in South Korea that promised high-yield returns to its investors. The platform reportedly went bust over a month ago, leaving investors empty-handed. While blockchain forensics analysts are trying to track down PlusToken investments that were converted to Bitcoin, the alleged Ponzi scheme is shaping up to be one of the biggest crypto scams on record.
The recent large BTC transactions are likely from PlusToken, but we have not been able to confirm it yet.
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) August 17, 2019
In its latest report on crypto crime, Ciphertrace said investors in PlusToken lost an estimated $2.9 billion when its app and exchange went offline. Police in China have arrested six people accused of taking part in the scam. Despite the arrests, some crypto insiders believe that large amounts of Bitcoin connected to PlusToken appear to be on the move.
Forensic companies including Peckshield and Chainalysis are tracking the BTC that was funneled into PlusToken. Primitive Ventures founding partner Dovey Wan, who has also been chronicling the alleged scam, says traders in China believe some of PlusToken’s BTC is being dumped on spot exchanges.
“We found that there are still key criminal suspects absconding, the flow and movements of funds are unclear, which is still under further investigation.”
However, Sid Shekhar who is the co-founder of London-based TokenAnalyst told Bloomberg that not much, if any, of the crypto controlled by PlusToken has made its way to exchanges, where it could be sold on the open market.
“It doesn’t look like any of these addresses are exchange owned. So that was enlightening. We’ll keep an eye on this to see if they do move the hundreds of millions into exchanges at some point.”