Briefing: Two off-exchange traders accused in illegal Bitcoin loan scheme

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比特币场外交易乱象:玩家陷非吸漩涡 被圈3亿元 – The Beijing News

What happened: Two over-the-counter (OTC) traders are facing charges of fraud after allegedly tricking more than 100 investors to send them Bitcoin in exchange for interest payments on their deposits. According to The Beijing News, Yi Zhou and Xiang Li used WeChat groups to gain their victims’ trust, and ultimately received more than 7,000 BTC (currently worth approximately $55 million) from unsuspecting investors.

Why it’s important: Illicit cryptocurrency activity has run rampant recently, with security firm CipherTrace reporting $1.2 billion in crypto theft, scams, and fraud in the first quarter of 2019 alone. But CipherTrace also notes that 17 countries plus the European Union within the jurisdiction of the Financial Stability Board had at least some regulation or standard-setting bodies dealing with cryptocurrencies as of April. And with the Chinese government already taking a tough stance on crypto, there’s a chance that fraud may take a meaningful downturn as the year progresses.