$30M Crypto Exit Scam in South Korea, ‘Pure Bit’ Refunds Victims
A crypto exit scam in South Korea called “Pure Bit” went into thin air with more than $30 million in user funds earlier this week.
On November 4th, the group conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) to raise nearly $30 million using Ethereum (ETH) to build a cryptocurrency exchange.
On November 13th, Pure Bit shut down all of their social media handles including KakaoTalk groups, removing investors in various public chat groups with the message “I’m sorry.”
Hours after the incident happened, every finance media outlet in South Korea reported the case. One publication went as far to track the Ethereum address of Pure Bit to request Upbit, the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, to block the account of the scammers and freeze their funds. Upbit accepted the request and immediately froze the funds.
Due to the involvement of law enforcement agencies, the group partially refunded several victims and promised to refund all of the remaining funds.
The group released a statement which was reported by BlockchainROK, apologizing for its fraudulent operation. The statement from the CEO read:
“This is Pure Bit. First off, I would like to apologize to everyone that was affected by the ICO. Since November 5, I raked in 16,000 ETH and did not open a crypto exchange as promised. I kicked out everyone in our social media chat groups and disappeared without any message. I negatively affected investors in the project psychologically and financially.
“I made an unforgivable mistake that cannot be turned around, blinded by money. It has been less than a day and I have already started to suffer from guilt. Although it cannot be compared with the hardship faced by the investors, I also felt significant guilt. I sincerely apologize to all of the investors in the ICO who were affected by the operation.”