Cryptocurrency market in the year 2018 has been bleeding the hacks, declines, and theft. As such, the recent report from South Korea’s local media reported the fraudulent transactions and wash trading within Upbit cryptocurrency exchange.
Upbit Officials Pocketed 150 billion won
Upbit is one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with a current market cap $1,020,033,632. It is presently rank as the third largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume as per coinmarketcap.
According to the prosecutor’s office of the southern district of Seoul, three officials at Upbit including the board chairman, financial director, and working-level officials have been caught for the fake account created during September 2017. The illicit event was accounted for the period of September 24, 2017 – December 11, 2017. The report states that this fake account counts for $2226.2 billion created through bogus orders. The statement notes it as follows;
Bogus orders worth 254 trillion won ($226.2 billion) over a period of about two months to inflate the currency transactions and lure more customers.
Seoul Southern Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office further points that the officials have sold 11,550 bitcoins to around 26,000 customers. With this illegitimate activity, they bagged 150 billion korean won fraudulently.
Allegation Denied by Upbit
Similar to Bithumb which denied the wash trading allegation made by CER, Upbit also explained the purpose of creating the account. It said that the corporate accounts were created to ‘increase liquidity’ within the market as a boosting step for the upcoming service. Moreover, it denies the allegation of ‘pocketing the funds’, since they claim such corporate account doesn’t have a withdrawal function’.
However, Upbit in such accused cases is not the first time, earlier it has also been suspected for selling the cryptocurrency to customers that were actually not holding an account with the exchange.
Regulators in South Korea are playing a key role to protect the interest of customers and the safety of virtual assets. However, we cannot deny the fact that as long as bad players exist in the market, we cannot stop seeing the hacking bulletins negatively affecting the performance of virtual assets and platform alongside.