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Officials at Top Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Upbit Indicted for Fraud

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Officials at South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, have been indicted for fraud. They allegedly made bogus crypto orders worth approximately $226 billion and sold 11,550 BTC to around 26,000 investors. Upbit has denied the charges and insisted that it did not commit fraud, engage in wash trades, or trade cryptocurrencies it did not own.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Officials Indicted

Officials at Top Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Upbit Indicted for FraudThree officials at South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, have been “indicted for offering fraudulent transactions and swindling money from investors,” Yonhap reported Friday.

According to the Southern Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office, a board chairman, a financial director and a working-level official of the exchange “allegedly opened a fake account around September last year,” the news outlet conveyed. The prosecutors said the officials “made bogus orders worth 254 trillion won (US$226.2 billion) over a period of about two months to inflate the currency transactions and lure more customers,” the publication detailed, adding:

While rigging transactions, they actually sold 11,550 bitcoins to around 26,000 customers and pocketed 150 billion won.

Upbit is currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country, with over 50 percent domestic market share. With an adjusted 24-hour trading volume of almost $1.1 billion at the time of this writing, the exchange currently ranks as the world’s third-largest crypto exchange, according to Coinmarketcap.

Upbit Denies Allegations

Officials at Top Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Upbit Indicted for FraudYonhap also reported that Upbit “strongly denies the allegations.” The investigation into the exchange’s operations started eight months ago.

On Friday, the Kakao-backed exchange released a detailed explanation of what happened. “First of all, we would like to express our deepest regrets for causing much anxiety aroused by the indictment,” the exchange began. “The case is related to some transactions during a three-month period [last year], from Sept. 24 to Dec. 31.” Noting that its exchange was launched on Oct. 24, Upbit explained that all transactions in question were from “when our company was preparing for and had just launched Upbit service. All transactions which took place in Upbit after that period are not related to the case.” The exchange wrote:

Upbit did not commit wash trading (cross trading), imaginary orders (provision of liquidity), or fraudulent trading. The company did not trade cryptocurrencies which it didn’t own, or have its staff and employees benefit from such trading.

Upbit continued to explain that “Liquidity has been provided through a corporate account, and no one was swindled out of benefits or engaged in fake trading during the process.” Upbit, however, admitted that “For about two months after launching the service, some cross trading took place for marketing purposes.” Nonetheless, the exchange claims that “such trading had no influence on the market price, and the volume of such trading took up about 3% of the total trade volume at that time.”

The exchange also noted that its auditor has confirmed three times — on Jan. 19, June 28, and Oct. 8 — that its combined cash and cryptocurrency balance exceeds the amount owed to customers. “As of Oct. 8 when the most recent audit took place, Upbit held about 103% of the cryptocurrencies payable to customers. Also, Upbit’s bank balance is 165% of the cash payable to customers,” claimed the company’s statement released on Friday.

Do you think Upbit is guilty? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Upbit.


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The post Officials at Top Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Upbit Indicted for Fraud appeared first on Bitcoin News.

A Heartbroken Mother Hopes President Trump Will Exonerate Ross Ulbricht

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Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of convicted Silk Road administrator Ross Ulbricht, has expressed hope that U.S. president Donald Trump will pardon her son. Ulbricht’s family believes that Ross didn’t receive a fair trial and his sentencing was extremely harsh for a crime that didn’t involve violence. The interview with Lyn Ulbricht follows the recent 111,588 signatures signed in a petition to Trump asking him to grant Ulbricht clemency.

Also read: How to Spend and Give Bitcoin Cash Over the Holidays

Lyn Ulbricht: ‘Ross Is Not Pablo Escobar’

A Heartbroken Mother Hopes President Trump Will Exonerate Ross Ulbricht
Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Ross Ulbricht has been fighting for her son’s freedom for over 5 years.

This week, Lyn Ulbricht spoke about her son Ross in an interview and explained that she is optimistic that president Trump may grant him freedom. Ulbricht’s mother and family members have been fighting for his freedom since the day he was arrested five years ago. The family wholeheartedly believes Ross’s investigation and ensuing trial was rife with abuse and manipulation. His mother explained at length how corrupt the case was and how the trauma resulted in her being admitted to hospital a few months ago for a brief period. However, after all the community support including gathering of over 100,000 signatures for Ross’s clemency petition his mother is still optimistic.

“I’m very hopeful because President Trump wants to pardon people,” explained Lyn Ulbricht to Yahoo Finance UK. “It was a frankly reckless idea but [Ross] did it because he was on fire for freedom as a young guy in his mid twenties who believed in privacy and free markets Ross never intended harm.”

Lyn emphasized that as long as she lives she can’t bring herself to let him rot in prison. She detailed that Ross being dubbed a “kingpin” and charged with such serious crimes was an “abuse of power.” “He’s not Pablo Escobar, it’s absurd,” Ulbricht’s mother exclaimed during the interview. Additionally, Lyn recalled the extent of the heartache she suffered while she and her husband Kirk dealt with the arrest and subsequent trial that followed.

Ulbricht’s mother recalled the incident when she was hospitalized, explaining:

I actually almost died It was heart failure from what they said is called ‘broken heart syndrome.’ There’s a Japanese word for it but it’s literally a medical term for stress and grief that hits people, it actually attacks the left ventricle of the heart.

A Heartbroken Mother Hopes President Trump Will Exonerate Ross Ulbricht
The clemency petition hosted on Change.org has garnered 111,588 signatures to date.

A Trophy Arrest for the Nonsensical Drug War  

The family is extremely upset with their son’s sentencing which included two life sentences with an additional 40 years added. This means Ulbricht’s life will be spent in prison and he has no options for parole. Ross Ulbricht is currently serving his time in Colorado after being moved from New York to a facility dubbed the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” The Boston Marathon bomber from 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is also incarcerated in the Colorado prison known as USP Florence. Lyn explained that even if people think Ross’s crime was awful, his sentencing was completely unjust when many violent criminals have received lighter punishment for horrendous crimes.

“People are put away for lifetimes like this for non-violent crimes, and this is a trend that must change,” Lyn added. “You could say, well by selling drugs they were hurting people — They weren’t forcing anyone to do anything, let’s put it that way.”

Lyn continued:

He has said to me many times, how much he regrets it and how much he regrets any harm that may have come from it — I think his remorse is absolute — They needed their trophy, they wanted their trophy, and they decided that that was Ross.

Kirk and Lyn moved to Colorado so they could visit Ross more frequently and he’s been communicating to them so they can post messages to his supporters from his official Twitter account. With the help of their daughter and other close friends, the family operates Freeross.org and works every day toward to find a way they can get their son out of prison. Ross has stated to his Twitter followers that someday he hopes he can repay his family for all they have done.

A Heartbroken Mother Hopes President Trump Will Exonerate Ross Ulbricht
Lyn Ulbricht with the help of friends and family operates Freeross.org.

As far as the Silk Road investigation and following trial, Lyn opined that the government had placed all the blame on Ross, who asserted that “he was the only Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR).” However, Ulbricht’s mother stressed that this was not the case and there were multiple characters that utilized the DPR name and login credentials.

“The government claims he was the only DPR and everybody else, including high-level administrators, say that’s absurd — there were lots of them — DPR signed in to his account after Ross was already in prison,” she noted at the end of her interview. Lyn has faith that President Trump might consider giving her son clemency given the corruption involved with his case, the controversial trial, and harsh sentencing.

What do you think about Lyn Ulbricht pleading with President Trump for her son to be exonerated? Do you think Trump would absolve Ulbricht? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Yahoo Finance UK, Lyn Ulbricht, and Change.org


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The post A Heartbroken Mother Hopes President Trump Will Exonerate Ross Ulbricht appeared first on Bitcoin News.