Manta Network (MANTA), a blockchain project with ambitions to grow its presence in the Asian market, has become embroiled in a controversy involving allegations of money laundering following its recent listing on the South Korean exchange Bithumb.
The controversy arose when a DeFi enthusiast named Definalist took to Twitter, raising concerns about potential misconduct by Manta Network on the day of its Bithumb listing.
Money Laundering Allegations
Definalist’s tweet pointed out a series of suspicious transactions that raised eyebrows:
Two million MANTA tokens were transferred to the personal wallet of Manta’s Korean Business Development (BD) representative. Subsequently, these tokens were deposited into Bithumb’s wallet, accounting for over 75% of the total circulation volume on the exchange.
Within five minutes of being listed on Bithumb, the price of MANTA skyrocketed to $230, marking an increase of over 100 times its initial price of $2.26. The controversy deepened as the BD representative was alleged to have engaged in token dumping, rapidly selling all two million MANTA tokens at prices ranging from 50 to 100 times the initial listing price.
The proceeds from this rapid sale were purportedly 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, as indicated by data from Etherscan.
These allegations are particularly concerning in light of South Korea’s reputation for stringent regulations on money laundering and real-name financial transactions. If these allegations are substantiated, Manta Network could face severe consequences.
Manta Network’s Response
In response to these allegations, Manta Network issued a statement explaining that part of the Ecosystem/Community funds had been allocated to the Korean BD representative based on the project’s token economic model.
Furthermore, the project emphasized its commitment to expanding its presence in the Asian market, with a specific focus on South Korea and Hong Kong. It was reported that the team is actively taking steps to establish a branch in South Korea.
This branch aims to establish stronger ties with local projects, gain a deep understanding of the unique requirements of the Korean market, and seamlessly integrate Manta Network’s products into the local Web3 ecosystem.
Additionally, Manta Network has established branches in Hong Kong to facilitate collaboration with local developers, entrepreneurs, and other relevant groups.