Date
20 August 2017
Leung Yiu-chung says as many as 3,000 clients may have parked HK$3 billion in various trading accounts. Photo: HKEJ
Leung Yiu-chung says as many as 3,000 clients may have parked HK$3 billion in various trading accounts. Photo: HKEJ

Investors left in lurch after bitcoin exchange goes bust

About 30 investors in a bitcoin trading exchange are asking lawmakers to help them get their money back after the business suddenly closed last month.

They are set to file a complaint to the Hong Kong police that mycoin.hk was a pyramid scheme, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday. 

Legislator Leung Yiu-chung said each has invested more than HK$1 million (US$129,000).

As many as 3,000 clients may have parked HK$3 billion in various trading accounts, Leung said.

They were caught by surprise when the business closed last month, the report said.   

An investor, known only as Nancy, said the company often changed trading rules and switched platforms, even halting all transactions in the end.

Investors were promised a daily return of one bitcoin after buying a contract worth of 90 bitcoin.

At its last closing, however, mycoin.hk had dropped the contract price to HK$10 compared with the world price of US$223.

Bitcoin was launched in 2009 at less than1 US cent. It peaked at US$1,230 in 2013 when some Hong Kong investors started to trade the unregulated virtual currency despite warnings from financial officials.

Mycoin engaged in bitcoin derivatives not recognized by the government, Francis Fong, founding chairman the Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing, was quoted as saying.

Without any official recognition, the digital currency cannot be regulated, Fong said.

Translation by Vey Wong

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