Crypto analyst Jacob Canfield thinks that criminals from China and Korea are behind a crypto Ponzi scheme driving the bullish price trends of Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS and the greater altcoin market.
The infamous scam PlusToken launched in 2018, promising investors high-yield returns from “exchange profit, mining income, and referral benefits.” It reportedly drew in three million registered users.
The organizers of the scam initiated an exit strategy in June of 2019, stealing an estimated 90,000 to 200,000 Bitcoin (BTC), 790,000 Ethereum (ETH) and 26 million EOS.
Now, after multiple accusations that PlusToken scammers have sold Bitcoin and driven the price down, Canfield says he believes the thieves may be re-entering the world of crypto, manipulating the market and steering the bullish rally of 2020.
“They are sitting currently around $600 million worth of capital cash, and it was done on what we believe was Huobi and OKEx exchanges which are in China, and the problem with Huobi is the order books are closed so you can’t really view them or see them.
If they’re using their capital to push the Ethereum market, they can use $100 million, $200 million and push Ethereum back to 300, 500, 600, 900, 1,000, and then they’re going to get a much bigger bang out of their buck.”
With the stack of cash they may have accumulated, Canfield says the scammers are now more than capable of rigging the market.
“A lot of analysts, a lot of really smart analysts believe that PlusToken was the real big catalyst of why Bitcoin went from $3,500 all the way up to $14,000. Now, how does that work? When all of these people are buying Bitcoin, that’s removing Bitcoin from the circulating supply, so it’s artificially removing over 1% of the circulating supply of Bitcoin.
It’s creating artificial FOMO, that fear of missing out on Bitcoin. You see two things. You see your reduced supply, but you also see an increased demand, and that’s the economics of what moves the market. You also add in the derivatives market wherein in 2018, when we saw that massive drop in the start of 2019, we saw shorts at an all-time high because they believed that was going to go all the way down back to $1,000. So when we broke out 4,000 and all of these people are FOMO-buying Bitcoin, Ethereum and EOS to try and get into these markets, it creates artificial buying pressure.”
Canfield also cites Google Trends which shows that searches for Bitcoin have not increased at the same pace as the price of BTC. He says that indicates something is amiss with the current price trends in cryptocurrency relative to people’s interest in the king of crypto.
“This was not retail FOMO – it was a very small part of it. This was artificial buying pressure because of this PlusToken scam.”
In June of last year, six Chinese nationals accused of participating in the scam were arrested in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
Despite the arrests, there have continued to be large movements of BTC with suspected links to the alleged crypto Ponzi scheme.