Warning: Bitcoin from PlusToken Wallet on the Move Again
The Bitcoin locked in the PlusToken wallet are on the move again, noted for another “whale” transfer. The Ponzi scheme famous in China, reportedly held up to 187,000 BTC.
PlusToken Scheme Consolidates Transactions
A whale transaction was recognized as most probably belonging to the PlusToken scheme, signaling that there were still active members of the project. The move came just days after Bitcoin recovered above $10,000.
The transaction of 11,999 BTC is now worth more than $120 million. PlusToken has been known to move its coins in relatively smaller transactions, liquidating them through Huobi. The origin of the coins was confirmed by Dovey Wan, co-founder of Primitive Crypto. Wan has been tracking the scam for months, helping to bridge the gap between the Chinese crypto space and Twitter.
Plustoken's coins are on the move again
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) February 11, 2020
Because PlusToken operated mostly in China, its presence was not detected by social media or news outlets for months. But the scheme potentially affected bitcoin markets for months.
This time, the wallet has sent a significant sum to a brand-new unknown address. The move may be part of PlusToken’s drive to disguise the origin of its coins, as well as liquidate a part of the immense haul. In the past, PlusToken has managed to affect the market, by dumping some of its coins on open exchanges.
PlusToken Could Bring Down Bitcoin Prices Temporarily by Dumping
The coin moves may exacerbate the dumping narrative for bitcoin. But there are also remarks that PlusToken has merely moved and stored the coins in new cold wallets.
— Chiachih Wu (@chiachih_wu) February 11, 2020
The exact holdings of PlusToken are unknown, but are being watched by several cryptocurrency startups. Blockchain Center counts about 200,000 BTC belonging to the scheme, surpassing the cold storage of the Winklevoss brothers. The wallets also consolidate outputs from previous transactions, moving UTXOs into one new address.
PlusToken has also been known to use coin mixers, to slightly veil some of its holdings. So far, despite the Huobi sales, no coins have been blocked and no new identities discovered.
The scheme did not hold onto all the BTC it received, as some of the coins were used for early payouts. PlusToken easily ran its operations in the summer of 2019, when BTC prices reached close to $14,000 and helped the Ponzi scheme survive longer. The PlusToken pyramid was also counted as the biggest scam of 2019, hauling more than $2.9 billion from Chinese investors.
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Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @chiachih_wu @DoveyWan