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

Chinese policeman
(Chalermpon Poungpeth/Shutterstock)

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

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 bitcoin, 833,083 ether, 487 million XRP, 79,581 bitcoin cash, 1.4 million litecoin, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 dash, 6 billion dogecoin, and 213,724 tether. 
  • 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.
  • 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 over 2 million investors using cryptocurrencies as a funding channel.