- The wallets of PlusToken have become active again, and have transferred a total of 190 million dollars or 789,534 Ethereum (ETH) into an unknown wallet.
- The ETH were sent to a mixer in 5 hops, using 4967 addresses.
Those responsible for one of the biggest frauds in the crypto space have returned. Following massive transactions of XRP and EOS tokens reported by the Whale Alert Monitor on 19 June, the crypto community has now again noticed activity from PlusToken regarding their ETH wallets. Several transactions were made on June 24 for an approximate value of $190 million or 789,534 Ethereum (ETH).
The PlusToken scam began a year ago under the guise of a profitable investment program. PlusToken promised users to receive exorbitant returns in a short time. To achieve this they used the funds of the older users to pay the newer ones. However, some users began to report problems accessing their funds. Then, all PlusToken users were blocked and their funds were stolen.
According to the latest estimates, the perpetrators of the scam managed to steal about 180,000 Bitcoin (BTC), 6.4 million Ethereum (ETH), and about 26 million EOS and 485 million XRP. Although six people were arrested for the scam, others have been released.
Ethereum (ETH) stolen by PlusToken on the move
The 190 million dollar transaction at ETH is probably part of an attempt by fraudsters to launder the money. In the past, the fraudsters behind PlusToken have used “mixers” to hide the source and activity of their transactions. However, the funds were largely traced through the efforts of investigators such as Ergo. This investigator gave a brief update on the movements of the stolen BTC funds and confirmed that the fraudsters were dormant from March to early May.
On the other hand, researcher Frank Topbottom determined that the “PlusToken mixer has made 5 hops and used 4967 addresses for this. 3813 of them now have a non-zero balance from 2 to 998 ETH”. On average, there were 140 ETH on these addresses and, as the researcher stated, it is likely that the scammers will continue to mix the ETH. The following graph shows the distribution of the funds stolen by PlusToken in the wallets used for mixing.
The co-founder of the Nansen data analysis firm and data scientist, Alex Svanevik, also confirmed that the fraudsters are mixing the funds. Svanevik said the scammers are using 5,000 addresses to obfuscate their transactions. He also determined that the funds are being sent in waves. He expects them to continue, but the perpetrators are trying to keep the address balances below 1,000 ETH. Svanevik said there are no signs, as yet, that the funds are being sent to crypto exchanges.
PlusToken has been a major market factor since early 2019. Some analysts believe that the movements of PlusToken funds are related to an increaseof volatility on the crypto market. In fact, the bull market of 2019 may have come to an end because of PlusToken, as Chainalysis reported. In any case, PlusToken is a factor to be considered as Travis Kling stated:
Plustoken has been a major market factor since early 2019. Analysis from Ergo and others proves ~165k BTC from PlusToken were mixed & sent to Huobi & OKex since August. This week >$200mm of ETH/EOS/XRP have moved.