The crypto crooks🪝
The most wanted list. Crypto is a go for Visa, launches an ambitious project. Mad Lads tricks bots to spend $250K on fake NFTs. Could California provide a legal framework for DAOs?
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In 2022, the cryptocurrency world saw a surge in hacks and attacks, with over $3.8 billion stolen, marking an 18% increase from the previous year's total of $3.2 billion.
It seems like the criminals were on a crypto-robbing spree! But wait, fiat crimes are still leading the way.
Anyway, let's focus on the top criminals of crypto for today, other than SBF, of course! Cos, that's too much data. Buckle up now!
The queen herself
Ruja Ignatova, also known as the CryptoQueen, is responsible for one of the biggest scams in the history of cryptocurrencies - the OneCoin Ponzi Scheme. This charismatic con artist founded Onecoin, a company that promised to outshine Bitcoin and become the world's top digital asset. But instead, she swindled investors out of over $4 billion! 😱💸
Despite law enforcement squads and special agents worldwide hunting her down since 2017, Ruja Ignatova has managed to evade capture to this day. She disappeared after boarding a flight from Sofia to Athens in 2016 and has become the only woman on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List. 👑
It will soon be a year since the Terra meltdown. The $60 billion collapse. In Sept 2022, South Korean officials issued a warrant for his arrest. At the time, Do Kwon was believed to be in Singapore. However, an official of the city-state issued a statement saying that he was no longer in the country and had fled to Dubai. By the end of the month, Interpol joined the search for Do Kwon, issuing a Red Notice for his arrest.
However, through all of this, Do Kwon insisted that he was not on the run, but refrained from giving away his location due to "security reasons". Then Kwon was arrested at Podgorica airport in Montenegro after trying to fly to Dubai using fake documents.
The Cajee Brothers👥
Ameer and Raees Cajee, aged 21 and 18 respectively, created a cryptocurrency business called Africrypt in South Africa in 2019. They promised investors a massive return on investment for their Bitcoin purchases, similar to a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.
After collecting around $3.6 billion from investors, they claimed that Ukrainian hackers attacked their site. Then investigations revealed that their claims were unfounded, and the Cajee brothers fled the country under the weight of death threats from investors. 👦🔫
The Squid Game token 🔺🔴🟥
Launched in October 2020, it was inspired by the hit Netflix series from South Korea, and investors couldn't resist the hype. In just a week, its price skyrocketed from a mere $0.01 to an unbelievable $2,900!
When they tried to cash out and enjoy their gains, they hit a roadblock. The project's website vanished into thin air, its social media handles disappeared, and worst of all, the creators were nowhere to be found, taking with them a whopping $3.8 Million of investor funds!
Lazarus Group needs no introduction💀
These elite hackers, rumored to be hand-picked from North Korea's brightest young minds, are known for their audacious cyber heists. Suspected of being a secret arm of the North Korean government, the Lazarus Group has been linked to high-profile attacks like the Axie Infinity Bridge Hack and Harmony Horizon Bridge attack in 2022.
Leading the pack is the FBI's most wanted cybercriminal, Park Jin Hyok, along with other suspected members like Kim Il and Jon Chang Hyok.
North Korean experts 🇰🇵
North Korea's hacking activities go beyond just the Lazarus Group. Despite a struggling economy, the country's government has turned to crypto to fund its nuclear program in the face of rising sanctions. The United Nations estimates that North Korean hackers have stolen billions of dollars from banks and cryptocurrency firms, laundering the funds through complex financial transactions.
In fact, in 2022 alone, they made off with a staggering $1.7 billion, almost half of the total amount of stolen funds worldwide.
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TTD MTM 📊
We have another whale waking up from a 12-year nap! This HODLer just moved 400 Bitcoin worth nearly $11 million - that's a lot of dough!
They haven't made a transaction in over a decade! - the whale moved 360 BTC ($9.8 million) to one wallet and the remaining 40 BTC to other locations.
This is happening a lot lately. Last week, we saw another whale move over 279 BTC, or $7.6 million, after a decade of snoozing. And back in February, an old BTC address that had been dormant for 11 years made a huge transaction by moving $9.6 million worth of the crypto.
TTD Numbers 🔢
The wallet that bought those Ethereum wakes up after 7.7 years.
The wallet bought the ETH during the ETH ICO in 2014 for $730.
The price of one ETH token back then was $0.31.
The 2,365 ETH in the wallet is now worth $4.42 million.
TTD Visa 💰
Visa is on a mission to up their crypto game. You can’t keep them out of the news or making them crypto moves. The are leaving behind the scars of FTX meltdown and bruises of the crypto winter. Crypto is a go for Visa.
TTD NFT 🐝
Mad Lads tricked bots into spending $250K on fake NFTs. The hyped Solana NFT drop overcame extortion threats and DDOS attacks with a fake mint. It refunded the money, but the move was to keep NFT drop supply aways from those trying to mint as many as possible as a quick flip for profit.
Rhapsody Curated has announced a partnership with three leading fine art photographers Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Nicolas Henry, and Namsa Leuba. The platform will mint their work as NFTs for the first time ever to raise awareness and funding for the battle against climate change.
Marvel Studios founder David Maisel has announced the launch of a 1-of-1 digital art collection. The NFT collection includes artwork from Mythos Studios, Michael Turner, Peter Steigerwald and Maisel.
TTD Surfer 🏄
A California State assembly member has drafted an Assembly Bill 1229 to provide a legal framework for DAOs as acceptable business entities. It’s supported by Andreessen Horowitz and Crypto Council for Innovation.
Terraform labs co-founder Daniel Shin was among ten people indicted on multiple charges in South Korea by the local prosecutors.
The Chinese city of Changshu has stated that all civil servants in its jurisdiction will be paid their full salaries in digital yuan starting May 2023.
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The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.