Crypto crimes on the rise in China despite crackdown
According to Songjiang Procuratorate officials, crime related to counterfeiting currency is “decreasing significantly” in Shanghai, however, the prosecutor said criminal cases in which perpetrators “use virtual currency as a criminal tool” are on the rise, incorporating new types of fraud and “causing greater losses to citizens”.
The prosecutor said all but one of the cases related to currency fraud, except one, which his crime unit had handled so far this year, had been linked in some way to cryptography. He also provided details of a criminal case involving an individual nicknamed Song, the operator of what appeared to be a burgeoning medium-sized crypto exchange.
Song, the body continued, proposed giving customers the ability to buy bitcoin, ethereum and major altcoins, but it was just an elaborate scam that saw Song amassing over $ 103,000 in “illegal profits”. All the “transactions” carried out on the platform, the body explained, were fraudulent. Song and five others were charged with fraud, sentenced and jailed for up to 10 years.
Despite a crackdown that Chinese authorities hoped would push cryptocurrencies to the margins of society, the media have continued to report cases of crypto-related fraud since September. While this may be part of an effort to cast cryptocurrencies in a negative light (something Beijing has been keen to do ever since it first formulated its digital yuan plans), it also suggests interest in cryptography is still alive in China.
Several East Asian cryptocurrency experts recently reported that bitcoin and altcoin traders in China are still using USD-pegged stablecoins, overseas exchanges, and over-the-counter brokers to transact, following a freeze from part of national banks, while other parts of the country are continuing to wage war on cryptocurrencies. The regional headquarters of Agricultural Development Bank of China’s Jinggangshan, in Jiangxi province, launched a “crypto awareness” advertising campaign with slogans such as: “Stay away from virtual currency, protect the safety of your funds.” Away from mainland China, however, cryptographic fraud appears to be on the rise in other parts of Asia as well.
by Alessandro Crea
Monday 29 November 2021 13:00