Chinese Authorities Have Seized a Massive $4B in Crypto From PlusToken Scam

Cryptocurrencies worth billions of dollars have been seized during the police crackdown on the PlusToken Ponzi scheme in China.

Nov 27, 2020 at 10:35 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:35 a.m. UTC

A police crackdown on the PlusToken Ponzi scheme in China has resulted in cryptocurrencies worth billions of dollars being seized.

  • In a Nov. 19 court ruling reported by The Block Friday, the Jiangsu Yancheng Intermediate People's Court set out all the cryptocurrencies confiscated by law enforcement from the scam operators to date.
  • The document lists 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 487 million XRP, 79,581 BCH, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 6 billion DOGE and 213,724 USDT
  • At time of writing, the digital assets are worth almost $4 billion by CoinDesk's calculation.
  • "The seized digital currencies will be processed pursuant to laws and the proceeds and gains will be forfeited to the national treasury," the court ruled, per the report. 
  • The PlusToken scam will have taken even more than this massive sum from victims.
  • Previous sell-offs of ill-gotten gains have been linked to drops in the price of bitcoin, as supply suddenly spiked.
  • It's not clear how China would dispose of the cryptocurrencies, per the report. If they were sold en masse for fiat currency it could again affect the prices of the cryptocurrencies in the seized pool.
  • Some suggest that much or all of the coins have already been exchanged, however.
  • As CoinDesk reported, all of PlusToken's 27 alleged masterminds were arrested this summer, along with another 82 core members.
  • The Ponzi was said to have grown to over 3,000 layers at the time, having fleeced more than 2 million investors using cryptocurrencies as a funding channel.
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