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Turkish crypto boss accused of fraud detained in southern Turkey

Kenan Altun, one of the founders of an IT company implicated in cryptocurrency fraud, has been detained by the cyber crime police in Antalya, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

Altun and his partner Hasan Özkan, an Australian citizen, who founded Endless Yazılım Teknoloji A.Ş. three years ago in Kayseri, are accused of cryptocurrency fraud in which they used the Bitrota cryptocurrency exchange and the Talent bitcoin.

A number of platform users filed complaints against Altun and his partner when the system collapsed and they failed to receive their money back. Arrest warrants had been issued for Altun and Özkan.

The platform offered 30 percent monthly gains to its users, pushing it up to 45 percent during a campaign launched in April that lured thousands of unsuspecting users.

According to the system, the users who brought another user to the system were promised 25 percent profit, which boosted the number of platform users in a short period of time.

The platform targeted mainly users from Kayseri and Hatay.

The system, which sought to fund the gains of former users with money invested by newcomers, however, collapsed in a couple of months.

It turned out that the platform had some 82,000 investors and a trade volume of TL 600-700 million.

Altun will be brought to İstanbul for interrogation.

In April, Faruk Fatih Özer, the founder of İstanbul-based cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, shut down his site and fled the country with a reported $2 billion in investors’ assets.

Cryptocurrency is becoming particularly popular among Turks who are looking to preserve their savings in the middle of a sharp decline in the value of the local lira.

The Turkish crypto market remains unregulated despite growing skepticism from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government about the safety and use of digital currencies.

The Turkish central bank decided to ban the use of crypto currencies in payment for goods and services starting April 30.

It warned that crypto “entails significant risks” because the market is volatile and lacks oversight.

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