The crypto market has seen significant sell-off on Monday, and, according to Chainalysis, PlusToken scammers played a significant role in it.
Published on Monday after the crash, the report revealed that 20,000 Bitcoin valued at $137 million, as of press time, and 790,000 ETH worth around $102 million that are controlled by PlusToken scammers.
The crypto market saw a significant dip on Monday when sudden sell-off resulted in a four percent dip in Bitcoin prices in merely seven minutes. This was significant as the major support level of $7,000 was breached, and the value of the digital currency dropped to $6,800. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, even took a bigger hit as it shed seven percent of its value to touch $130.
“We believe that the criminals behind the PlusToken Ponzi scheme could be driving down the price of Bitcoin when they liquidate their stolen funds via OTC brokers,” Chainalysis stated in its official blog post.
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The report also detailed that $185 million in Bitcoins were already liquidated on exchanges by the scammers of the PlusToken scheme.
A billion-dollar crypto scam
PlusToken is believed to be one of the largest crypto-related Ponzi schemes, duping investors for an estimated amount of around $2.9 billion.
PlusToken is a China-based “cryptocurrency wallet” that has all of the trappings of a typical cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme: it promises to reward its users with high rates of return if they use PlusToken’s platform to store their funds. The “rewards” are allegedly generated by “exchange profit, mining income, and referral benefits.”
Earlier this year, six individuals connected to the scheme were arrested; however, many crypto market analysts pointed out ongoing activities with the proceeds from the Ponzi scheme, hinting that one or more perpetrators are still at large.
“The scammers have transferred the Bitcoin more than 24,000 times, using more than 71,000 different addresses — and that’s not even counting cash outs or transfers to off-ramps such as exchanges,” Chainalysis added.