Many exchanges have previously been accused of faking trading volumes, but it seems that nothing was as serious as Coinbit, one of the largest crypto exchanges in South Korea.
South Korean well-known crypto-company arrested. A report by local newspaper Seoul News said that Coinbit allegedly forged more than 99% of its volume, and its offices were recently raided and confiscated by Seoul police after evidence of fraud was discovered.
According to the report, Coinbit owner Choi Mo, along with other team members, allegedly sold and bought various assets on the platform to encourage fake volume, and authorities say this led to the deception of 252,000 crypto users of the exchange per month.
Coinbit allegedly had multiple exchange accounts to store all user assets. One of the accounts was intended for trading major crypto assets, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and tether trading pairs, using Ghost accounts.
Another account traded lesser-known altcoins and initial exchange offer (IEO) tokens – where the asset is only available on one exchange, by controlling the offer and thereby manipulating the price of the token, increasing their value, and ultimately deceiving unsuspecting traders.
The report claims that through this infamous scheme, the company managed to generate more than 100 billion won ($85 million) in fraudulent revenue through its “wash trade” method, which triggered a lawsuit.
In addition, authorities also suspect Coinbit’s accounting methods and have raised several questions that point to the possibility of additional abuse and theft. The accounting firm reportedly even refused to work with the company, after reviewing its ledgers.
The report quotes an anonymous tax accountant who said:
The fact that Coinbit rejected the conclusions of external auditors means that the company’s activities were carried out outside the box, and, in fact, its accounting can not be trusted.
Korea and stock fraud
The Korean cryptocurrency market is no stranger to fraudulent trading, as many similar accusations have been made before.
Last year, two executives of the Korean cryptocurrency Komid were jailed for fraud with crypto-trading. It is reported that the specialized trading bot that made these fake trades generates 50 billion won on washed trades on Komid.
Back in 2018, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, Upbit, was accused of fraud.
However, Du WAN Nam, head of business development in Asia at the crypto firm MakerDAO, believes that new reprisals can be expected in the future.
This is not the first time that the Korean exchange has been accused of fraud. Unfortunately, as new cryptocurrency regulation is introduced in Korea, such reprisals may become more common.