Key Takeaways

  • Chinese police have seized a haul of cryptocurrencies in an ongoing case against the team behind the PlusToken scam.
  • The stash is valued at $4.2 billion, and includes 1% of the total circulating supply of Bitcoin.
  • It’s the latest signal of China taking steps to eradicate certain parts of the cryptocurrency space.

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Chinese police have seized $4.2 billion worth of crypto assets, including 194,775 BTC and 833,083 ETH, from the infamous PlusToken scheme.

China Cracks Down on PlusToken

Following a Nov. 19 ruling at the Jiangsu Yancheng Intermediate People’s Court, a list of the seized assets was published yesterday. 

In addition to the huge BTC and ETH holdings, the authorities have frozen 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 487 million XRP, 6 billion DOGE, 79,581 BCH, and 213,724 USDT from seven of the key malefactors.

The PlusToken story has been widely documented—it was one of the most lucrative scams in the history of crypto.

The team behind the disgraced project successfully duped over 2 million people, advertising a trading exchange that convinced users to make large deposits in return for attractive payouts.  

When details of the scam emerged, the total stash was estimated to be worth around $2 billion at its lowest valuation. By late September of this year, local news had reported that the total gains were worth over $7.6 billion. Analytics teams helped trace the funds at the start of this year before Chinese authorities arrested more than 100 culprits in July. 

The latest ruling makes this one of the biggest crypto seizures in history. The BTC holdings alone equate to more than 1% of the currency’s total circulating supply. 

It’s currently unclear what the Chinese police plans to do with the PlusToken holdings.

The ruling is only the latest example in a series of crackdowns on crypto-related activities such as over the counter trading desks, which raises questions about how China intends to navigate the technology’s growth moving forward.

As far as any suspicious activity goes, authorities are following the space with a close eye. 

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