South Korean police have requested a red alert from Interpol to prevent crypto entrepreneur Do Kwon from evading extradition, days after the Terra creator denied being “on the run” in a tweet.
Kwon was the creator of the Terra/Luna cryptocurrency platform, an effort to create a system with comparable scalability to Ethereum. In the spring of 2022, however, Kwon’s attempts to create an “algorithmic stablecoin” that would maintain its value at exactly $1 without any reserves underpinning it failed catastrophically, wiping out more than $80bn (£70bn) in value as panicked holders sold their tokens and triggering a wider crypto crash that wiped out two-thirds of the value of the entire sector.
Kwon, the company’s likable figurehead, gained notoriety for, even in its latter days, arguing heatedly with critics on social media over whether or not the company could survive.
Kwon, who was reportedly in Singapore at the time, tweeted last month in response to rumors that South Korean prosecutors were pursuing his arrest: “I am not ‘on the run’ or anything like – for any government agency that has shown desire to communicate, we are in full collaboration and we don’t have anything to hide.”
The South Korean prosecution claims they have been unable to reach Kwon since Friday. “We have begun the process to put him on the Interpol red notice list and to cancel his passport,” prosecutors told the Financial Times on Monday since he is “clearly on the run and has no intention of appearing for interrogation.”
They said that he closed the Terraform Labs unit in South Korea and traveled to Singapore at the end of April. Kwon is no longer in Singapore, but the Singaporean police will cooperate in the probe.
The government is investigating the collapse of Kwon’s firm, and in June, former workers of his stated that the state had taken their passports to prevent them from following him.
Kwon’s apparent departure coincides with a fresh market crash in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, which are both down over 25% in the last week. The meltdown was reportedly triggered by the Ethereum “merge,” which saw the cryptocurrency transition from “proof of work” to “proof of stake,” a much less energy-intensive method of managing the underlying infrastructure of a significant portion of the industry.
Cover: Do Kwon behind bars – Universal Public Domain.
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