South Korean authorities are seeking the arrest of Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs. His company is behind the now-collapsed cryptocurrencies terraUSD and luna. Prosecutors in South Korea are trying to freeze bitcoins linked to Kwon.
Woohae Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images
South Korean authorities sought Kwon’s arrest this month and claimed he was on the run. Prosecutors said Interpol, the global police organization, has issued a “Red Notice” for Kwon. These notices are issued to fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence.
Kwon, however, insists he is not on the run, saying on Twitter on Tuesday that he is “making zero effort to hide.” The founder of cryptography claims to be out for a walk and coding in his living room.
The public controversy continues
The Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment on how they identified the bitcoin as being linked to Kwon.
But research by 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 company Terraform Labs.
The LFG responded on Tuesday saying it had not created any new wallets or moved bitcoin or other digital currencies since May 2022. It also posted its wallet address on Twitter.
But CryptoQuant replied, “That’s the public one,” suggesting that the Luna Foundation Guard has another wallet address not explicitly linked to the nonprofit.
Kwon also refuted the bitcoin movement claims.
He said on Twitter that there was no attempt to “refund” and that he has not used KuCoin or OKX “for at least 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 any global law enforcement agency when it comes to cases of investigations related to the origin and freezing of suspicious assets.”
He added that in relation to Kwon and South Korean prosecutors’ request to freeze funds linked to the crypto founder, “we would like you to first address the issue with any related authorities and clarify their position on the matter.”
CNBC told KuCoin that it had already spoken to the authorities. A spokesperson for KuCoin said the company “cannot disclose any details so as not to interfere with the case.”
OKX has not yet responded to a request for comment.