Cryptocurrency: Two Estonian Men Arrested Over $575M Scheme

Photo: Fox Business [via Reuters]

The Facts

  • The FBI and Estonian police on Sunday arrested two Estonian men who have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 16 counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. They face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.

  • The men are accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of people through multiple crypto-related schemes — including coercing victims into fraudulent rent contracts and investing a total of $575M in a fake cryptocurrency bank called Polybius Bank and then never paying dividends.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

As the entire world becomes aware of what was once a niche hobby for enthusiasts, governments and the general public have begun to understand that unregulated cryptocurrency is a growing threat to unsuspecting investors. Blatant Ponzi schemes like this are tragic for those who fall for them, but so are the so-called "stable" coins like Bitcoin that can lose over half of their value seemingly overnight. Regulators need to be on top of this volatile industry before more victims lose their savings.

Establishment-critical narrative

Despite what you may hear in the news and from politicians, the government is not broadening its investigatory and regulatory reach to help the people fight crypto schemes. On the contrary, the establishment wants to use Ponzi scheme stories to cudgel citizens into giving them the power to control how they invest and what they purchase.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that at least 5 countries will recognize Bitcoin as legal tender by Jan 1, 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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