$100M of Ethereum Tied to Plustoken Scam Sparks Wild Theories

On December 16, the blockchain surveillance firm Chainalysis published an excerpt from its January 2020 report indicating the Plustoken Ponzi scheme might be behind the declining crypto prices this year. The Plustoken project was a wallet created by a group of South Korean nationals who told people the wallet would reward users with 6-18% in monthly profits.

By the time the scam ended with arrests, close to $3 billion dollars in a variety of digital assets had been defrauded from Plustoken users.

During the last two weeks as cryptocurrency prices slid below long term foundational support, speculators assumed Plustoken scammers may be behind the dump. Blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis published a report which claimed Plustoken coin sales might be dragging BTC prices down. Moreover, on December 19, Plustoken scammers moved 789,525 ETH ($101 million) from one address to another.

$101 Million of Ethereum Moves

Chainalysis called the Plustoken scam one of the largest crypto-based Ponzis ever created. Following the report, BTC dropped below the $7k zone and Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis, said that Plustoken scammers dumping is “certainly something to consider” when thinking about where the short term price is going.

$100M of Ethereum Tied to Plustoken Scam Sparks Wild Theories

Since then, BTC’s fiat value jumped back above the $7k region and other digital assets followed suit, regaining losses. However, crypto enthusiasts and traders are aware that the Plustoken scammers still have 20,000 more BTC to unload and 789,000 ETH as well. Then on December 19, armchair sleuths noticed that the 789,525 ETH ($101.2 million at press time) had moved from one address to another.

The cofounder of Three Arrows Capital, Su Zhu, spotted the 789k ETH movement and said: “Imagine if they throw this into ETH2 Phase0 staking – Perpetual endowment yield.” The ETH has since been resting in the wallet and has not moved since Thursday. The funds are flagged by ETH block explorers like Etherscan and in red the transaction notes the ETH stems from the “Plustoken Scam.”

Someone Claims to Be the Plustoken Scammers and Government Conspiracy

After the 789,000 ETH moved, an account tied to the social media site Bishijie.com explained in a video recorded in Mandarin that they were associated with the Plustoken transactions. The CEO of Sino Global Capital, Matthew Graham, shared the video on Twitter and said: “Plustoken scammers trying to explain away their token transactions, the brazenness is really incredible.”

“Note: it’s important to understand that we don’t have full visibility on what’s going on here”, Graham stressed, alluding that the person could be lying. “This may be people affiliated, but not really part of the original team, it’s hard to say exactly”, he added. According to another person, the Mandarin speaker’s words loosely translated indicates that “the speaker just describes the transfers (e.g. xxx ETH was transferred from address A to address B) and frames it as ‘good news’ and ‘moving house’ but doesn’t really give a particular reason.”

$100M of Ethereum Tied to Plustoken Scam Sparks Wild Theories

The large sum of ETH has the cryptocurrency community on edge and lots of people are discussing it on Twitter. “There is now $100M worth of stolen ETH from Plustoken Ponzi sitting in one ETH wallet”, The Block analyst Larry Cermak tweeted.

“The majority of stolen BTC has already been laundered by using various mixing techniques and through Huobi – Can anything be done if the scammers start swapping ETH on Uniswap?” Cermak asked. BTC proponent Alistair Milne had a different theory about the Plustoken scammers and said: “Plustoken holdings are being liquidated by the authorities.” Milne hypothesized that private keys were probably surrendered upon arrests and “coins are mixed to try to obfuscate in order to not be interpreted as a government ‘endorsement’ of Huobi.”

“They will sell more carefully now people are aware”, Milne added. Despite the blockchain analysis reports from multiple intelligence teams and the variety of Plustoken-based coin movements over the last few weeks, the public are left still guessing.

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