The team behind Manta Network, a zero-knowledge level (L2) blockchain, was suspected of money laundering through the listing of MANTA tokens on major exchanges Binance, Bithumb and KuCoin.
Manta Network was first accused of suspicious transactions in the Korean group Manta on the social network X. A crypto enthusiast under the pseudonym Definalist addressed his subscribers with a warning about possible illegal activities and suspicious transactions on the part of the Manta Network on the day of the listing of MANTA tokens.
Definalist highlighted several suspicious transactions and pointed out that on the day of listing on Bithumb, approximately 2 million MANTA tokens were transferred to the personal wallet of a business development representative of Manta Network in Korea (BD)..
. @MantaNetwork was suspected of money laundering through Bithumb on the day of listing
— 2M $MANTA transferred to personal wallet of MANTA's Korean BD
— 2M $MANTA was deposited into Bithumb deposit wallet, accounting for more than 75% of Bithumb's total circulation volume.
— Definalist (@definalist) January 18, 2024
Definalist noticed that, according to blockchain observer Etherscan, crypto assets transferred to the balance sheet of a possible Manta Network functionary accounted for more than 75% of the total circulation of MANTA tokens on Bithumb.
“Just five minutes after listing, the price of MANTA on Bithumb soared to $230. A BD representative allegedly sold all 2 million MANTA tokens for 50-100 times the listing price of $2.26. BD’s revenue amounted to about 2,100 ETH, which is equivalent to approximately $5.2 million,” said the crypto expert.
In response to the allegations, Manta Network released a statement claiming that the transaction was a legitimate part of an investment program aimed at maintaining and expanding Manta's platform presence in South Korea..
If Definalist's suspicions are confirmed, the Manta Network team could face serious reprisals from South Korean regulators for violating strict rules against money laundering.
Earlier, the Financial Services Commission of South Korea (FSC) confirmed the relevance of the ban on local financial institutions owning and investing in crypto-assets.