PlusToken, a supposedly South Korean-based crypto wallet, is accused of scamming users out of an estimated $3 billion, according to Chinese media. That would make it the biggest crypto Ponzi scheme to date.
However, according to news site 86btc, the wallet is actually developed by a Chinese company based in the northern city of Jiaxing.
PlusToken launched in 2018 as an international crypto project, claiming to be supported by a South Korean team, with ex-Samsung and Google employees. It’s marketed predominantly in Asia, and promises users monthly returns of 10-30% and a generous referral programme. By May 2019, it had apparently gained three million users.
The scheme was allegedly blown wide open with the arrest of six Chinese nationals on the Pacific island of Vanuatu, on June 27.
Chinese police later claimed that those arrested, the so-called “PlusToken Six,” were responsible for the scam.
3/ The #PlusToken scam is alleged to have been ended by #Vanuatu Police on the 27th of June. According to reports in Chinese media on the 1st of July that showed photos of some of the suspects arrested in Vanuatu & the alleged ring leader in China who was reported to be at large. pic.twitter.com/9knaWlSzIa
— DLT Vanuatu (@DLT_Vanuatu) July 14, 2019
Meanwhile, on the same day, users reported that they were unable to access funds on the TokenPlus site.
Since then, social media channels have been abuzz with conflicting reports on the project’s legitimacy, as TokenPlus social media channels have continued to claim that the reason users are unable to access funds is due to a system upgrade, soon to be resolved. A notice on the TokenPlus community website also denies that the six people arrested were behind the project.
Interestingly, according to posts on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, users continue to deposit funds.
However, in posts in groups on Telegram and Facebook, plenty of users have complained of individual losses of up to $5000.
Enquiries are still ongoing, according to police reports, and officials in Hunan, Beijing, Jiangsu and other Chinese districts have now launched their own investigations into PlusToken.