The PlusToken scammers, who stole about $300 million in Bitcoin, appear to be actively moving part of their loot. This move was revealed via a tweet by the Ergo research firm. The scammers moved about 13,000 BTC into a mixer recently. However, moving BTC into a mixer is not proof they plan to sell the BTC, it just raises the probability of them doing so.
How Scam Affected Bitcoin Price
It is not yet clear how the sell-off of the BTC loot in the recent past has affected the price of BTC in the market. The Ergo research firm revealed that scammers have been intermittently selling off the loot since August and they have continued to do so for over six months. Recently, the rate at which they sell the BTC has reduced. It coincides with the strengthening of the crypto market in recent weeks.
Tracking Bitcoin Mixers
A difficult aspect of tracking deposits made from mixers is tracing the mixed BTC on the exchange to the order book. In short, while it is easy to find the trail of funds going from the mixer to the exchange, it is difficult to prove that these funds were sold on the exchange.
According to Ergo, it is predicting that distribution coincides with the sale of the funds. As a result, when funds leave the mixer, the scammers likely sell the BTC a short time after that. According to the report by Ergo, they tried to distinguish between the BTC that was sold and that which was distributed. The report notes that researchers could see distribution to the exchange but they could not trace the distribution to the order books.
At the current price of around $9,100, the scammers could make around $117 million from selling 13,000 BTC. In the crypto market, tens of billions are processed daily on paper. However, most of this is accounted for via leveraging trades on margin trading platforms such as Binance Futures and BitMEX.
If the scammers sell off their 13,000 BTC over a long time, the impact from the sale is not going to affect the short-term price trend. However, if the scammers decide to sell off the BTC in huge chunks, there is a good chance that it leads to liquidations in the margin trading markets.
Jacob Canfield, a renowned trader, recently tweeted that it was time for due diligence and caution. In his tweet, he thanked Ergo for their work on the issue but noted that the PlusToken scammers may have deposited more BTC.
If there is going to be an impact on the price of BTC, it is going to depend on how, when, and how long the sell-off happens. Various other factors could also have a huge impact on the BTC price. In the short-term, being cautious about a possible price drop would be a wise decision. However, those playing the long game will probably not be affected by any possible sell-off by the scammers.
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