Just when you thought the cryptocurrency world couldn’t get more bizarre, somebody discovers a Russian shipwreck full of treasure chests packed with gold to the value of USD 130 billion.
What has this got to do with cryptocurrency, you ask? Well, not content with simply keeping the gold for themselves, the looters have apparently decided to set up an ICO and cryptocurrency exchange to “share” the profits with those who sign up.
Skeptical? Join the club.
This whole story is full of the kind of bizarre twists and tales that keep the crypto world interesting and reeks of some kind of scam – although, what exactly, is hard to ascertain.
The sunken ship in question is apparently the 100-year-old wreck of a Russian cruiser called the Dmitrii Donskoi which ran aground in 1905 during a war with Japan. It is reported to be hoarding over 5,000 boxes of gold bars and 200 tons of gold coins.
This is also not the first time it’s been ‘discovered’, so immediately warning bells are ringing. This latest claim lies with the Shinil Group, a team consisting of South Koreans, Brits, and Canadians, who have provided video proof of the alleged discovery and now plan to launch an ICO backed by the treasure called Shinil Gold Coin.
The Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) has disputed the find, claiming it discovered the wreck in 2003. Shinil Group, unsurprisingly, has claimed the KIOST find is a fraud.
To further confuse matters, two websites have sprung up claiming to be related to the find but, apparently, not related to each other.
Shinil Gold Coin ICO
One website, claiming to be the Shinil Group’s Donskoi International Exchange, claims it will launch an ICO to share profits of the treasure with users who sign up. Another website, launched under the name of Shinil Group, has been denounced by Shinil spokesman Park Sung-jin as being unaffiliated with the real Shinil Group.
Park claims the group intends to donate 10 percent of the treasure to aid job creation in South Korea and support development projects with North Korea.
However, initial claims suggested that half the gold would be returned to Russia and 10 percent donated to tourism efforts on nearby Ulleungdo island. Since then, the new claims regarding the launch of the Shinil Gold Coin ICO have arisen with possible commencement as soon as July 30.
Severe lack of evidence
The BBC reported that South Korea’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries have not granted salvage rights to any group regarding the shipwreck and a Russian professor of social sciences doesn’t believe the ship would have even been carrying any gold.
All in all, it seems to add up to what is undoubtedly the most elaborate and bizarre ICO scam in cryptocurrency history.
Unsurprisingly, South Korean Financial Supervisory Services has issued a warning regarding the Shinil Gold Coin ICO:
“Investors need to be cautious as it’s possible they could suffer massive losses if they bank on rumors without concrete facts regarding the recovery of a treasure ship,”
Mark Hartley is an IT specialist, freelance writer, keen traveler, and blockchain enthusiast. He has worked on the trading floors of the world’s biggest interdealer broker in London and helped integrate crypto-services into IT trading systems. When he’s not searching for the world’s most beautiful beach, he’s nose deep in any crypto and blockchain related news.