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Chinese cops end $1.5 billion cryptocurrency World Cup gambling ring

The syndicate used bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin.

Symbol image digital currency, gold physical coin bitcoin on keyboard
Cops in China shut down a World Cup gambling ring that used used bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin.
Michael Weber/Getty

Chinese police have shut down a World Cup gambling ring that was hosting $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency bets.

Cops in the southeastern Guangdong province busted six major suspects in the gambling syndicate, which operated the gambling platform for eight months, the South China Morning Post reports.

The platform operated on the dark web and only used bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin, police noted in a statement.

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The syndicate managed to register 30,000 users worldwide, using 8,000 agents who got commissions for recruiting new members -- creating a pyramid scheme.

The People's Bank of China banned initial cryptocurrency offerings last September, saying there had been too many scams that had "seriously disrupted economic and financial order" in the country.