South Korean authorities are calling for the arrest of Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs. His company is behind the now-collapsed terraUSD and luna cryptocurrencies. South Korean prosecutors are now seeking to freeze Kwon-linked bitcoins.
Woohae Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
South Korean authorities called for Kwon’s arrest this month and claimed he was on the run. Prosecutors said Interpol, the global police organization, issued a “red notice” for Kwon. These notices are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence.
Kwon, however, insists he is not on the run and said on Twitter on Tuesday that he “makes no effort to hide.” The crypto founder claims he is walking around and in his living room coding.
The public dispute continues
The Seoul Southern District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on how it identified bitcoin as being linked to Kwon.
But research from analytics platform CryptoQuant suggests that the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) created a digital wallet on September 15 and sent 3,310 bitcoins to KuCoin and OKX. The Luna Foundation Guard is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting the Terra blockchain, created by Kwon’s Terraform Labs company.
The LFG responded on Tuesday saying that it had not created any new wallets or moved bitcoins or other digital currencies since May 2022. It also posted its wallet address on Twitter.
But CryptoQuant replied, “It’s the public,” suggesting that the Luna Foundation Guard has another wallet address not explicitly linked to the nonprofit.
Kwon also refuted claims that bitcoin has been moved.
He said on Twitter that there had been no “cashout” attempts and that he hadn’t used KuCoin or OKX “at least in the last year”. He added that no funds from Terraform Labs, LFG or other entities have been frozen.
KuCoin told CNBC on Wednesday that it is “willing to cooperate with all law enforcement agencies worldwide in matters of investigating the origin and freezing of suspicious assets.”
He added that regarding Kwon and the South Korean prosecutors’ request to freeze funds linked to the crypto founder, “we would like you to first address the matter to all relevant authorities and clarify their position to this subject”.
CNBC told KuCoin that he has already spoken to authorities. A KuCoin spokesperson said the company “cannot disclose any details so as not to interfere with the matter.”
OKX has not yet responded to a request for comment.