Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business


S.African trader AWOL in $80 million bitcoin ‘scam’

Police said the company had targeted potential investors with promises of two percent interest per day, 14 percent a week and 50 percent per month./AFP

JohannesburgSouth Africa, May 25 – An alleged bitcoin currency scam in South Africa has left speculators with losses of more than $80 million as an investment company admitted Friday its senior trader had disappeared without a trace.

“This may prove to be the tip of the iceberg with potentially thousands more yet to discover they’ve lost money,” said Yolisa Matakata of the Hawks police investigations unit.

“Unregulated, unusual investments at home or abroad come with a high risk that people could lose all their hard-earned pension and other savings,” she warned.

BTC Global said that its services had been suspended after its primary trader, identified as Steven Twain, had failed to reply to emails requesting payments.

“We are as shocked and angry as everyone. But we all knew the risks involved in placing funds with Steven. We all became complacent,” BTC Global said on its website.

“Until Steven Twain resurfaces or is found there is nothing the admin team can do.”

South African police said they were investigating the alleged fraud, with more than 28,000 investors affected.

Police said the company had targeted potential investors with promises of two percent interest per day, 14 percent a week and 50 percent per month.

Payments to investors were reportedly made every Monday until they suddenly dried up.

Regulators worldwide are grappling with the boom in crypto-currencies like bitcoin, which lure investors with the promise of high returns but are not backed by any central banks.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

On Thursday, a South African teenager was found four days after he was kidnapped by a gang who demanded a ransom in 15 bitcoins, worth about $123,000 (105,000 euros).

Police gave no details about any ransom payment.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...