Biggest crypto scam of 2020 cost investors $589m

Bitcoin trading scheme Mirror Trading International (MTI) was the largest crypto scam of 2020 and led to losses of $589m across 471,000 deposits, according to blockchain analysis company Chainalysis.

As Chainalysis reveals in its report on the crypto scams that rocked the industry throughout 2020, MTI is not the only one.

Forsage and J-enco managed to syphon off $350m each from unwitting investors, leading to the second and third largest scams of the year.

Chainanalysis broke down web traffic to and from MTI and found out that half of it came from South Africa. Around a quarter of the traffic came from Canada, Mexico, and the UK.

Based on this information, Chainalysis has concluded that the victims of the scam were probably proportionally affected in those regions as well, ie half of the victims hailed from South Africa or resided there.

MTI received most of its Bitcoin from exchanges. Then it used a popular cryptocurrency gambling service to launder its hot money and release the funds. While the gambling website remains unnamed in the report, Chainalysis claims that MTI sent around $39m worth of cryptocurrency.

Dovey Wan, a venture capitalist, has cautioned against crypto gambling casinos, which have been increasingly used to launder money. MTI was clever in attracting gullible investors, offering consistent 0.5% returns daily, or over 500% yearly.

Without fact-checking the veracity of the claim many have fallen victim to what should have been easily spotted as a scam.

Meanwhile, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa has launched raids on the homes of MTI executives after MTI proved unable to pay out as much as it had promised investors.

Eventually, CEO Johann Steyberg disappeared with investors' funds, making it the largest scam of 2020. To stay away from such scams you, we recommend always checking what annual yield seems realistic.

Crypto casinos that would accept hot money should also be avoided. Rather, we recommend sticking with the gaming sites we recommend, including Bitcasino, 1xBit and FortuneJack, which are all established and trusted.

Looking for your next crypto casino? Check out: Mega Dice or FortuneJack

Written by Barney


Barney is co-founder of When not at work he can usually be found behind a Nikon. He's won numerous international competitions for his photography and volunteers as a content creator for aid organisations in Africa.

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