Man Arrested in China for 15 Billion Bitcoin Fraud
By Faith Magbanua, June 26, 2018 00:06 AM
With all the sham and speculations crawling around bitcoin, one man in Eastern China has been arrested scamming nearly 100 million yuan (nearly US$15 million) from 50 investors in three months, state media reported on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
The suspect - identified only by his surname of Zhang, aged in his 20s and from Anhui province - claimed in online posts at the end of last year that he had a reliable supply of bitcoin mining machines, which at the time were in high demand with a single unit of the digital currency trading as high as US$10,000.
Zhang offered the machines for sale for 10,000 yuan (US$1,500) - compared with the then market rate of nearly 30,000 yuan - on the condition that they would be delivered two months after payment, according to the state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).
At the beginning, people are skeptic on making and offer; however, the investors' doubts were dispelled by orders being fulfilled, Fu, one of the fraud's victims, was quoted as saying.
However, after further investigation, the police later found that the suspect had bought the machines at the market rate and made a loss of at least 20,000 yuan on each one.
Tianjin police seized 600 bitcoin mining computers after the local grid reported an abnormality in the power usage.
After not paying on more than 3,000 orders by mid-January, Zhang disappeared.
Two months later, Zhang turned himself in to the police, saying he could not continue because the supply of the machines had slowed and their prices had increased.
In addition, the earnings he got from his sales were said to have been partly spent on the mining machines and luxury cars, the report was seen via CCTV.
On the other hand, the alleged scammer has been in the custody of the police and is waiting to be prosecuted.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias 'Satoshi Nakamoto'.
Its purpose is to make transactions with no middle men - meaning, no banks.
Bitcoin can be used to book hotels on Expedia, shop for furniture on Overstock and buy Xbox games. But, much of the hype is about getting rich by trading it. Since 2017, the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed into the thousands marker.
China is one of the most active countries in Bitcoin trading before trading platforms were banned by the People's Bank of China in January.
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