Local police officials in China seized over USD 1.5 Million worth of cryptocurrencies while cracking down on 2018 FIFA World Cup gambling. Chinese media outlet Xinhua reported that authorities initially noticed an unknown gambling platform in May after it displayed advertisements that claimed it would “accept international recognized cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, and litecoin” to reel in users. An investigation occurred immediately after, according to Xinhua.
The investigation team discovered the overseas-based site that utilized an online gambling model paired with cryptocurrency payments. The media outlet cited “regulatory loopholes” through securing profits by hiding proceeds using the digital currencies. Over eight months, about 333,000 users used the site and there was an estimated transaction volume of a minimum of USD 1.5 Billion. Authorities arrested six organizers and confiscated USD 1.5 Million worth of the digital coins and USD 750,000 in deposits from bank accounts. A Guangdong province police department spokesperson said the task force will continue working on cracking down on online soccer gambling.