The East Asian crypto industry is buzzing with news of major developments, including a lawsuit against Chinese crypto billionaire Justin Sun and a South Korean national’s arrest in Montenegro over alleged falsified documents. Let’s explore these stories in more detail.
SEC Sues Justin Sun and His Companies
On March 22, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against Chinese blockchain celebrity and billionaire, Justin Sun, as well as three of his companies – Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd., and Rainberry Inc. The complaint alleges that Sun and his companies “fraudulently” manipulated the secondary market for Tron (TRX) tokens through “extensive wash trading,” paying celebrities to promote TRX and BitTorrent (BTT) tokens without proper disclosure.
Additionally, the SEC claims that bounty programs and airdrops used to promote TRX and BTT were unregistered investments, leading to further legal action. Several American celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Jake Paul, were named as defendants in their alleged roles in promoting TRX and BTT.
Sun rose to fame in the crypto industry through the successful $70 million initial coin offering (ICO) of Tron in 2017. He used his newfound wealth to acquire the peer-to-peer downloading platform BitTorrent. However, controversy surrounding his alleged ties to communism led him to leave China for the US before moving to Grenada, where he currently serves as the country’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization.
Do Kwon’s Arrest in Montenegro
South Korean national Do Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs, was arrested at Podgorica Airport in Montenegro on March 23 over falsified documents. While awaiting a fingerprint check from Montenegrin authorities to identify the arrested individual, South Korean authorities confirmed that the detained individual is, in fact, Do Kwon based on a positive match of name, birth date, nationality, and photographic evidence.
Do Kwon is currently wanted by Interpol, as well as South Korean, Singaporean, and US authorities for his alleged role in the collapse of the $40 billion Terra Luna ecosystem in May 2022. Last October, South Korean prosecutors cancelled Kwon’s passport, and he was reportedly hiding in Serbia at the time. Montenegro shares borders with Serbia and has signed few extradition agreements with other nations. However, extradition agreements are not the only way to extradite individuals to another country.
Nexon Emphasizes GameFi with Polygon
South Korean gaming giant Nexon announced that it had selected Ethereum layer-two scaling solution Polygon (MATIC) to power the blockchain ecosystem for its 2-D fantasy role-playing game, Maplestory. A Polygon supernet created by Polygon Labs will be deployed within Maplestory to allow players to earn in-game items as NFTs. Nexon’s revenue in 2022 was $2.6 billion, with over 50 games developed since its inception in 2003.
These developments demonstrate the ongoing controversies and legal battles in the East Asian crypto space. While some individuals, such as Do Kwon, face consequences for their alleged fraudulent actions, others, like Justin Sun, attempt to defend themselves against charges of manipulating the crypto market. Meanwhile, major gaming corporations like Nexon are embracing blockchain technology to enhance their offerings and provide more value to their customers. The East Asian region remains a hub of innovation and disruption in the crypto and gaming spaces.