In recent developments, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested the assistance of South Korea in questioning Daniel Shin, co-founder of Singapore-based blockchain payment platform Terraform Labs, regarding fraud charges related to the collapse of the Terra stablecoin. A New York court ruling allows the SEC to seek the South Korean government’s help in both interrogating Shin and obtaining documents from Chai Corporation, a digital payment provider he founded in 2018.
Here are some key facts to understand the context of the SEC’s investigation:
- The SEC seeks to question Daniel Shin, also known as Shin Hyun-seung, about his involvement in the Terra-Luna crypto project and his relationship with co-founder Do Kwon.
- In addition to questioning Shin, the SEC wants access to documents from Chai Corporation, a company he founded that previously shared staff and office space with Terraform Labs.
- These documents are expected to shed light on the relationship between Chai and Terraform Labs, including the shared use of Terra’s blockchain and stablecoin, as well as Chai’s payment processor.
- Shin has claimed that Chai has been operating independently from Terra since the first quarter of 2020.
- As of now, Shin has not received any communication from either U.S. or South Korean authorities regarding the SEC’s request for cooperation.
Background on Terra-Luna Collapse
To better understand the case, it’s necessary to explore the background of the Terra-Luna crypto project and its subsequent collapse:
- Terra-Luna was a prominent stablecoin and cryptocurrency project developed by Terraform Labs, valued at approximately $40 billion.
- Daniel Shin, a former executive at local e-commerce company Tmon Inc., co-founded Terraform Labs with Do Kwon in 2018.
- The project aimed to create a stablecoin that could maintain its value by being pegged to a basket of fiat currencies.
- However, the Terra-Luna project collapsed in May of the previous year, causing significant financial losses.
- Shin was publicly indicted in South Korea on April 25, with authorities stating that his role in the alleged fraud at Terraform Labs was more substantial than Kwon’s.
- Despite the indictment, local courts did not approve an arrest warrant for Shin, unlike the case against Kwon.
The Implications of the SEC’s Request
The SEC’s move to request South Korea‘s cooperation in questioning Daniel Shin and obtaining documents from Chai Corporation has significant implications for the ongoing investigation into the collapse of the Terra stablecoin. By seeking international assistance, the SEC demonstrates its commitment to uncovering the truth and holding accountable those responsible for the alleged fraud.
Establishing the Link between Chai and Terraform
The requested documents from Chai Corporation will play a crucial role in establishing the relationship between Chai and Terraform. This includes examining the shared use of Terra’s blockchain and stablecoin, as well as Chai’s payment processor. By understanding the extent of collaboration between these entities, investigators can piece together the events leading to the collapse of the Terra stablecoin and identify any potential fraudulent activities.
Daniel Shin’s Role in the Alleged Fraud
The SEC’s interest in questioning Daniel Shin suggests that they believe he played a significant role in the alleged fraud that led to the collapse of Terra-Luna. Shin’s previous leadership experience at Tmon Inc. and his involvement in establishing Terraform Labs position him as a key figure in the investigation. By gathering evidence and testimony from Shin, the SEC aims to obtain a clearer understanding of his actions and decision-making processes.
Collaboration between U.S. and South Korean Authorities
The SEC’s request for South Korea’s assistance highlights the importance of international cooperation in investigating complex financial crimes. By combining resources and sharing information, both the U.S. and South Korean authorities can strengthen their respective cases against the individuals involved in the Terra-Luna collapse. This collaboration also sends a strong message that fraudulent activities in the cryptocurrency space will not go unnoticed or unpunished.