Daily fraud update: 9th June

Chris Lee

Chinese crypto traders facing freezes and crackdowns

A group of cryptocurrency traders in China say that they are facing bank account freezes.

The traders affected are those using over-the-counter services, which are the primary way of acquiring cryptocurrency in China due to prior targeting of exchanges.

It is understood that the problem is also affecting merchants in the same space.Overall, it is understood that thousands of such accounts have been frozen.

There is no clear picture of why the freezes have happened, though the crypto press is reporting that there are allegations of wider illegitimate activities involving both cryptocurrency and fiat currency.

The incident began on Thursday of last week, when a number of over-the-counter crypto purchasers said that their accounts had previously been frozen.

They were then told that their transactions had been affected by money laundering.

One trader, who said he used to work for a crypto wallet firm, even went public.

He used the chat service Weibo to say that his bank account had been frozen and that the same thing had happened to others.

In his case, he said, the authority in question was the police force of Guangdong province.

The cases are made more complex by the fact that those traders who are affected might not end up facing criminal charges of their own.

It may be the case that they will lose access to their money simply because that money was allegedly tainted by laundering before it reached them.

Exchanges rise up website rankings

Two major cryptocurrency exchanges have risen through the ranks on lists of the most popular investment websites, it has been revealed.

Binance and CoinMarketCap have both succeeded in rising in recent weeks, according a post on Twitter.

Binance is now understood to be receiving 26.1m monthly visits to its website, which affords it the number 22 position in the finance list.

CoinMarketCap was at number 23.

At number 44, meanwhile, was the website blockchain.com, which is a provider of crypto exchange services in its own right.

The figures came from a firm called SimilarWeb, and were posted on Twitter by a user called Nawaz Sulemanji – tweeting as @Coinsmash.

There was some discussion in the crypto press about the reasons why these services in particular, and crypto services in general, seem to be moving up the ranks.

Binance has been hit by claims of embezzlement in recent months – it was accused by a trader of having “misappropriated [their] money for itself”.

Binance denied the allegations though, saying that it had frozen the account in question after being asked to by authorities in South Korea.

However, these figures appear to indicate that the claims have not prevented the firm from rising in the popularity ranks.

Some commentators have also suggested that crypto is becoming increasingly popular due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The consequent uncertainty around traditional economic values, meanwhile, has been suggested as a reason for increased uptake.


Chris Lee

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