Turcoin, advertised by its creators as Turkey’s “national” cryptocurrency, has been outed as a ponzi scheme, Hürriyet Daily News reports Monday, June 18.
Muhammed Satıroğlu, a major shareholder of the company that launched the coin has told the media it “doesn’t have a single dollar in the bank.”
Istanbul-based company Hipper, whose partners Muhammed Satıroğlu and Sadun Kaya launched ‘Turcoin’ in 2017, is the subject of a criminal complaint after payouts to investors stopped in early June 2018.
Speaking to local outlet Hürriyet Daily News, Satıroğlu, who owns a 49 percent stake in Hipper, claimed he was “only a mediator” in Turcoin and that Kaya had run off the the cash, which totals 100 million lira ($21 million).
“I was only a mediator. Our company Hipper does not even have a single dollar in the bank. All the money went to Sadun Kaya’s company in Cyprus,” he told the publication.
Kaya has allegedly stopped responding to calls and disappeared. Satıroğlu protests his innocence, despite appearing to hint he does in fact have access to some form of investor funds:
“I have not fled with the money. I will return all the money to the members if authorities unblock my bank accounts,” he added.
Turcoin promised to become Turkey’s “national cryptocurrency” upon its launch, wooing investors with high-budget parties attended by celebrities and giveaways of luxury cars, some of which have since been outed as borrowed.
Earlier this year, Turkish politicians also floated the idea of an official national cryptocurrency, suggesting to call it ‘Turkcoin’.