- 11,999 Bitcoin (BTC) stolen in PlusToken scam move during bull market of last weeks.
- Scammers continue to trade through the Huobi exchange using small transactions to move funds.
PlusToken is one of the worst cases of scams in Bitcoin history. After months of apparent inactivity, the scammer’s trail is once again warming up. “Primitive Crypto” co-founder Dovey Wan reported on Twitter that the stolen Bitcoin funds are back on the move.
CNF has been following the facts related to this Ponzi scheme that managed to steal around $3 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The scam was reported in mid-2019, when users of the PlusToken wallet began to report problems accessing their funds. Shortly thereafter the funds were blocked and moved to unknown wallets. Part of the scammers were caught by the authorities, but the rest have remained active.
Movements related to the PlusToken scam have caused a stir in the cryptocurrency community. A study by Chainalysis proposed that the continued dumping of the funds into the market increased the selling pressure on BTC and ETH during the last quarter of 2019. This was part of the reason for the bear market experienced by the cryptomarket, which has barely managed to be reversed during 2020.
New facts about the PlusToken scam: Where are the funds moved to?
Whale Alert recorded the movement of the BTC funds from the scam. According to the monitor, 12,000 BTCs were transferred to an unknown wallet on February 11, 2020. As Crypto News Flash reported on December 19, the perpetrators moved 789,525 ETH (105,099,509 USD) to an unknown wallet.
— Crypto News Flash (@CryptoNewsFlas3) February 11, 2020
As alreaddy happened in the past, the scammers used the exchange Huobi to sell their funds. Since their first transactions the scammers have used the same procedure each time. First they move small amounts of BTC or ETH to multiple addresses, then they proceed to liquidate the funds.
Most of the addresses used by the scammers have been identified thanks to the researcher Ergo (@ErgoBTC on Twitter). The researcher has published constant reports on PlusToken’s fund activity and also managed to determine that the scammers were behind a Sybil attack on the Wasabi mixer. The attack is part of the scammers’ attempts to hide their identity. Ergo wrote the following regarding the most recent fund movement:
Clearly whoever is in control of the PlusToken coins is trying to get ahead of the next report.
Due to the amount that has been dumped on the market, fears have returned that the BTC price will be negatively affected. Although in the above-mentioned Chainalysis investigation it could not be concluded that the movement of PlusToken’s funds has a negative effect on the Bitcoin price. The investigator did manage to conclude that there is a correlation between the liquidation of the funds and the downward movement of the BTC price, as well as an increase in the volatility of the market.
The exact amount that the scammers still own in BTC is unknown. However, researcher Chiachih Wu claims that some funds have been moved to cold wallets. This makes it more difficult to trace the stolen funds.
— Chiachih Wu (@chiachih_wu) February 11, 2020