Buddhist Monks Said to Be Targeted by Bitcoin Pyramid Scheme

Wolfie Zhao
Jun 22, 2017 at 12:00 UTC
Updated Jun 22, 2017 at 12:17 UTC
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A bitcoin-focused pyramid scheme may have targeted Buddhist meditation practitioners in Thailand, according to a local news outlet.

In a report from English-language media source The Nation, members of a Buddhist temple in the town of Uttaradit were said to have been approached with offers to invest in bitcoin. The temple-goers were allegedly promised handsome profits if they invested “at least 38,000 baht” (an amount worth roughly $1,100 at press time), including a doubling of that return if they attracted other investors.

A representative of the group filed a report with Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI), prompting the first stages of an investigation over concerns it might be a pyramid scheme, in which early investors are paid out with the proceeds from new ones.

As many as 800 practitioners from Uttaradit, Pathum Thani and Chiang Mai have contributed to the fund, the report said. While no one from the group has confirmed any loss so far, the DSI said the promise was “too good to be true” and that it will investigate to “check whether the operation is illegal”.

The case is not the first possible digital currency-based scam to emerge in Thailand. In 2015, police launched an investigation into a scheme called UFUN that also attracted investors with promises of high returns.

Buddha statues image via Shutterstock