Fifteen Suspects Arrested in Taiwan for Running $8 Million Crypto Scam

Authorities in New Taipei, a special municipality and Taiwan’s most populous city, have arrested fifteen local residents for their alleged  involveme nt in orchestrating a digital currency scam through which they stole millions of dollars.

Promoting Fraudulent Crypto For Adult Entertainment

According to local news outlet Focus Taiwan, Li Chi-hsun, the chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), revealed during a meeting with reporters that fifteen suspects and their alleged leader (surnamed Lin) were taken into police custody. The suspects have been accused of defrauding more than 30 Taiwanese investors of almost NT $250 million (c. $8.16 million).

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office will reportedly be addressing the case, which involves the accused promoting a questionable cryptocurrency project called IBCoin. As noted by local news sources, IBCoin is an ERC-20 compliant token that may be accepted as payment for adult industry related products and services.

The suspects had been promoting the fraudulent scheme on social media by posting pictures of themselves driving expensive cars, while claiming they made large sums of money by investing in IBCoin. Police officials investigating the matter seized NT $2.02 million (appr. $65,000) in cash, “written guidelines on fraud procedures”, and three cars, local news sources reported.

Selling IBCoins At Exorbitant Rates

Authorities first learned about the operation in September 2018 when an unsuspecting local investor was lured into purchasing NT $600,000 (appr. $19,480) worth of IBCoins. According to the CIB, Lin had purchased IBCoins from traders in China (in 2017) at a low rate of NT $1.5 per coin. After acquiring IBCoins at very cheap prices, Lin had reportedly asked people working for him to sell the coins at a much higher rate of around NT $50-$100.

Those who invested in IBCoins claim that they never received any returns, the CIB revealed. The bureau also said they had performed an investigation through which they learned that IBCoins have no real value. Moreover, the CIB noted that there are no known exchanges or firms that deal in IBCoins.

Seven Other Taiwanese Residents Charged With Crypto-Related Fraud

On January 18th, seven other Taiwanese residents were charged for their alleged involvement in a digital currency investment scheme. Local news sources said the accused had lured many people into investing a total of about $51 million (since 2016). The seven Taiwanese men were arrested on June 13th, 2018, but had only recently been officially charged with violating Taiwan’s business and banking laws.

Case prosecutors explained that under Taiwan’s current legal framework, the accused would have been charged with violating local laws even if they were offering a bitcoin (BTC) investment scheme. After receiving complaints from local investors who claimed they never received any returns on their investments, police officials investigated the matter and have now indicted the seven suspects for running a fraudulent crypto investment scheme.

Binance Coin Could Face ‘Bloody Correction’ if Margin Trading Rollout Goes Awry, Analyst Claims

Josh Rager, a cryptocurrency trader and analyst popular on social media, has recently predicted that Binance Coin (BNB), the cryptocurrency of leading crypto exchange Binance, could face a ‘bloody correction’ if anything goes wrong with the rollout of its margin trading feature.

On microblogging platform Twitter the trader reminded his followers that all markets correct, and that a failure in the rollout of its margin trading options could be a trigger that sees traders dump BNB.

Data from CryptoCompare shows the BNB token has been having an incredible year so far. While in early January the cryptocurrency was trading at about $6, it has since surged to hit the $35 mark this month. In the last six months, cryptocurrency’s price has risen by over 500%.

This saw Binance Coin become the seventh largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Its price rose as the exchange has been seeing various positive developments, among them the launch of Binance Jersey, which lets users trade BTC and ETH for EUR and GBP, and the launch of a decentralized exchange that lets users trade directly from their wallets.

This month, the cryptocurrency surged to a new all-time high after it teased the rollout of margin trading, a feature seen as an important growth factor for crypto trading. So far, Binance stayed away from it, while exchanges like Kraken and Poloniex already offer it to its users.

Speaking to TechCrunch, a Binance representative reportedly confirmed that the exchange is going to launch margin trading “soon.” To Josh Rager, if “anything remotely goes wrong” with the launch, the price of Binance Coin will “dump like no other.”

It’s worth noting, however, that earlier this month Binance was hacked for over 7,000 BTC, then worth over $40 million. The crypto’s price was barely affected by the incident, even though it forced the exchange to temporarily shut down deposits and withdrawals. The market likely barely reacted as the company has a Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) that covered the losses.

At press time, Binance Coin is trading at $33.3 after falling 4.9% in the last 24-hour period. Over the past 30 days, the cryptocurrency is up by 42%.