Ciaran Ryan
3 minute read
5 Jan 2021
7:10 am

FBI jumps into bitcoin probe

Ciaran Ryan

Promising monthly returns of 10%, firm got R11bn of bitcoin.

MTI promised investors up to 10% return a month using a computerised trading system, first trading forex, then bitcoin, although the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) could not find any evidence of trading success by the company. Picture: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/GEORGE FREY

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has thrown its weight behind the international probe into Mirror Trading International (MTI), the bitcoin investment scheme which promised returns as high as 10% a month. The scheme attracted a reported 23 000 bitcoin from around the world – worth about R11 billion at current prices. According to legal adviser Hendrik van Staden, speaking on a recent webinar with US lawyers on recent developments, the FBI has started monitoring the scheme, which stopped paying out members’ requests for withdrawals in early December, resulting in the Cape High Court placing MTI under provisional liquidation...