A $3Billion Chinese Ponzi Scheme called PlusToken is now allegedly dumping Bitcoin by the hundreds. The Bitcoin sell-offs from the scheme could be to blame for the downturn in the cryptocurrency markets.
On 14th August 2019, Dovey Wan, founding partner of Primitive Ventures, drew attention to the ongoing mass sell-offs of Bitcoins from the fraudulent Chinese investment scheme.
Wan highlighted that PlusToken was created in mid-2018 and promised high yield investment returns at different rebate percentages to its four tiers of the member. In early 2019, the project claimed to have over 10 million members.
Wan tweeted an attachment with addresses — including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and EOS— known to be linked to the PlusToken scheme and urged crypto exchanges over-the-counter platforms to take action. Wan also noted that the addresses are only a fraction of the total
Along with the addresses, Wan has attached investigative data from security audit firm Peckshield that reveals that the sell-off likely started in July but now appears to have intensified. It also seems to suggest that approximately 1000 Bitcoin has already “gone into Bittrex and Huobi”.
She mentions that the Chinese police have revealed that investors were scammed of a whopping $3 billion. The police had hunted down a core team member of the scheme two months ago.
The cryptocurrency cannot reportedly be rolled back despite the arrest. The reasons behind this were explained by Wan. Many of the BTC addresses of the scheme are started with P2SH (Pay to script hash) commonly used for multi-signature. It is probable that some people who hold the keys are not being caught and therefore the police are unable to unlock the wallet. For EOS/ETH wallet can be a different case but the police were not able to touch any of those yet.
She has recommended that Peckshield and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis analyze the flows more closely in an attempt to curb the impact of the sell-offs. She notes that PlusToken appears to be moving their funds in small batches of 50-100 BTC into exchanges.
According to reports from Chinese traders, an unknown address has been dumping 100 BTC incessantly on crypto exchange Binance in recent days. Wan suspects this to be connected to the scheme.
In a recent summary of 2019 crypto-related theft from blockchain security firm CipherTrace, the PlusToken scheme was identified as being the largest single incident of loss having purportedly defrauded investors of $2.9 billion.