The GainBitcoin crypto scam is now said to have affected 1 lakh victims and may have cost Rs. 1 trillion to victims. Here are all the details.
The GainBitcoin scam had gained a lot of traction a while ago and now, the stats have come out suggesting colossal losses. Reports suggesting that around 1 lakh victims may have lost more than ₹1 trillion in the scam. The late Amit Bhardwaj, who was the mastermind behind this Ponzi scheme, may have collected Bitcoins between 385,000 to 600,000, amounting to more than ₹1 trillion. The amount could be higher as Bitcoin prices keep fluctuating.
It is said that a total of 40 FIRs have been filed, and a lot of people from Maharashtra, Punjab, and other states have lost their hard-earned savings in the GainBitcoin scam. Considering the current Bitcoin price of almost ₹23,57,250 per Bitcoin, the total amount stolen comes to almost ₹90,500 crore. More than 60,000 user IDs and email addresses have been traced by the Pune police in the GainBitcoin case.
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GainBitcoin scam claims Rs. 1 Trillion
Similar to most ponzi schemes, GainBitcoin also had a pyramid, multi-level marketing scheme, with Amit Bhardwaj at the top. He and his ‘Seven Stars’ used to operate in India and abroad, guaranteeing a 10 per cent monthly return in Bitcoin-on-Bitcoin deposits for 18 months via multi-level marketing programmes. Investors were asked to invest in Bitcoins, promising their investments will be increased during that period.
However, investors realised that the number of Bitcoins are limited and hence the model was flawed. But it was too late by then and they had lost their earnings.
In March, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) urged the Supreme Court to issue direction to one of the accused in the GainBitcoin scam to provide access, username and password, to his crypto wallet, contending that the issue of “legality of crypto currency” does not arise in the matter. “The investigation conducted so far has revealed that Amit Bhardwaj (who died in January this year) with connivance of petitioner, Vivek Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and others i.e, multi-level marketing agents and associates have collected 80,000 bitcoins as proceeds of crime,” said the ED affidavit. The ED told the court that the brother of the petitioner has died, and he is in possession of the username and password of crypto wallets, which must be disclosed to the investigating officer.