Cryptocurrency: The rise, fall and arrest of Do Kwon: A Crypto odyssey

NEW DELHI: Do Kwon, as soon as hailed as a cryptocurrency visionary, discovered himself ensnared in a worldwide chase after a catastrophic $40 billion cryptocurrency downturn. Because the mastermind behind TerraUSD and Luna, two tokens whose values plummeted dramatically, Kwon grew to become a first-rate goal for US and South Korean legislation enforcement companies.
The aftermath of this debacle not solely erased billions from the crypto realm but additionally precipitated the collapse of quite a few digital-asset companies, leaving numerous buyers worldwide in monetary break.
A dramatic flip in Montenegro
Kwon’s descent from a revered crypto pioneer to a global fugitive reached a climax in Montenegro in March. Whereas trying to board a personal jet to Dubai, Kwon and his affiliate Chang-joon Han had been detained on the airport. Their arrest was primarily based on a global warrant following the collapse of two digital tokens related to Kwon, resulting in a market lack of round $40 billion.
In accordance with a report within the Wall Avenue Journal, an informant’s tip to Montenegro’s inside minister, Filip Adžić, marked the top of Kwon freedom.
On March 23, Kwon and Han journeyed to the Podgorica airport, the capital of the nation, a visit that sometimes lasts an hour. They paid their taxi driver with a hefty 4,000 euros ($4,230), an quantity significantly massive for the typical Montenegrin.
Upon scanning Kwon’s passport, an alert was raised, resulting in the detention of each him and Han. Han was found to be carrying a counterfeit Costa Rican passport. A radical search of their belongings by the border police revealed three laptops, 5 cellphones, and a further set of falsified Belgian passports, the WSJ report stated.
Each South Korea and the US are pushing for Kwon’s extradition from Montenegro. Nonetheless, Montenegrin officers have indicated that they could solely contemplate this after native authorized proceedings conclude.
Political turmoil
His detention has sparked political turmoil in Montenegro. A letter from Kwon to the nation’s Prime Minister, Dritan Abazović, alluded to connections with Milojko “Mickey” Spajić, a politician and erstwhile Luna investor. This revelation stirred a political maelstrom, with Spajić’s political adversaries accusing him of liaisons with the infamous crypto fugitive, the WSJ report stated.
Dealing with severe allegations
The accusations in opposition to Kwon are grave. Probes by each US and South Korean officers deduced that he had deceived buyers, with rising suspicions of him secretly accumulating an enormous crypto wealth. If discovered responsible in South Korea, he stands to obtain the nation’s most stringent punishment for a monetary transgression. Regardless of these grave fees, Kwon has constantly refuted any malfeasance. Earlier than his apprehension, he mysteriously vanished from his opulent Singaporean residence, solely to mockingly have interaction with authorities via tweets and undisclosed interviews.
The downfall of TerraUSD
Central to Kwon’s narrative is TerraUSD, a stablecoin he ardently promoted. Distinct from different fiat-backed stablecoins, TerraUSD was an algorithmic variant, relying on subtle monetary methods and collective dealer efforts to maintain its worth. Regardless of cautionary voices from some crypto specialists, many had been lured by its imaginative and prescient of a revolutionary financial system, free from the shackles of conventional banking.
Nonetheless, TerraUSD’s stability was short-lived. In Could 2022, its valuation started to deteriorate, instigated by substantial withdrawals from Anchor Protocol, a platform promising profitable returns for TerraUSD deposits. Kwon’s determined makes an attempt to salvage it, together with deploying a $3 billion reserve fund, had been in useless. In a matter of days, TerraUSD’s valuation had disintegrated to a couple cents, resulting in widespread investor fury.
International repercussions
The shockwaves of this crash resonated worldwide. From particular person buyers in Ukraine and Britain grappling with large monetary setbacks to a tragic incident in Taiwan the place a person reportedly ended his life after incurring a lack of round $2 million on Luna, the impression was profound.
Whereas Kwon indulged in an opulent existence in Singapore, mingling with the elite and savoring life’s luxuries, his buyers had been left to confront their monetary nightmares. His audacity shone via when he christened his new child daughter Luna, after his plummeting cryptocurrency.
As Kwon languishes in a Montenegrin jail, the world awaits the following chapter. His saga serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of the cryptocurrency area, underscoring the potential perils and repercussions of this quickly evolving trade.
(With inputs from companies)

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