Manta Network (MANTA), a blockchain project aiming to expand its reach in the Asian market, has found itself entangled in a controversy surrounding allegations of money laundering following its recent listing on the South Korean exchange Bithumb.
The controversy emerged when DeFi enthusiast Definalist took to Twitter, suggesting potential misconduct by Manta Network on the day of its Bithumb listing.
Money Laundering Allegations
Definalist’s tweet highlighted several suspicious transactions, pointing to a series of concerning events.
. @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
Two million MANTA tokens were transferred to the personal wallet of Manta’s Korean Business Development (BD) representative. They were then deposited into Bithumb’s wallet, representing over 75% of the total circulation volume on the exchange.
Within five minutes of being listed on Bithumb, MANTA’s price soared to $230, over 100 times its initial price of $2.26. The controversy deepened as the BD representative reportedly engaged in token dumping, swiftly liquidating all two million MANTA tokens at values ranging from 50 to 100 times the initial listing price.
The proceeds from this rapid sale were then allegedly converted into Ethereum, with a substantial sum of 2,094.7 ETH, equivalent to approximately $5,162,112, transferred to the BD representative’s personal wallet, according to data from Etherscan.
The severity of the allegations is heightened by South Korea’s reputation for strict regulations on money laundering and real-name financial transactions. If these allegations are proven true, Manta Network could face serious consequences.
Manta Network’s Response
In response to the allegations, Manta Network released a statement asserting that part of the Ecosystem/Community funds had been allocated to the Korean BD representative based on the token economic model.
The project also emphasized its commitment to expanding in the Asian market, particularly in South Korea and Hong Kong. According to a local news outlet, the team is taking concrete measures to establish a branch in South Korea.
This branch aims to build stronger connections with local projects, understand the unique needs of the Korean market, and seamlessly integrate Manta products into the local Web3 ecosystem.
Additionally, Manta Network has set up branches in Hong Kong to facilitate collaboration with local developers, entrepreneurs, and other groups.