Chinese Police Bust $1.5 Billion Cryptocurrency Gambling Ring
On Thursday, Chinese police busted a $1.5 billion cryptocurrency gambling ring. The ring was primarily used to place bets on the 2018 World Cup.
More than 300,000 people are reported to have used the service, which can only be accessed via untraceable search engines, over the course of just eight months. Participants used cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Litecoin to place bets on upcoming World Cup matches.
In a statement first reported by the South China Morning Post, officials say the ring operated more as a pyramid scheme, where recruiters could profit off new members using the service. Bets were reported to have been manipulated according to the bet ratio, allowing a small number of people to win. Officers from China’s Guangdong province are reported to have detained six individuals suspected to have coordinated the ring.
The bust represents one of the first cryptocurrency crimes to be committed involving a major sporting event.