It was cash-fueled chaos.
A Hong Kong cryptocurrency promoter was arrested over the weekend in connection with a stunt that saw a deluge of HK$100 notes rain down from the top of a building in Sham Shui Po.
The scenes of banknotes falling like snow near the Golden Computer Arcade unfolded at about 2:45pm, with viral footage on social media showing a frenzied crowd clambering for the bills, with some even looking for an edge by climbing onto surrounding structures.
Chinese 24 year old Bitcoin Millionaire Wong ching kit 黄鉦杰 AKA bi shao ye 币少爷 (Mr coin ) throws 100’s of millions of HKD from the roof top. He said “he feels as if he is god and he is responsible to teach the world about bitcoin.” Is this a sign of a bullrun incoming or ?! pic.twitter.com/IfgKykB0ME
— Mia Tam (@_blockandchain_) December 16, 2018
The suspect is Wong Ching-kit, who was arrested on Sunday as he prepared for another publicity stunt in the neighborhood, the city’s poorest.
The 24-year-old runs a Facebook page promoting cryptocurrency investment, goes by the nickname the “Coin Young Master” and is listed as a director of “Coin Group Limited,” a company established last year.
(The Facebook page, called Epoch Cryptocurrency, also regularly promotes Wong’s alleged crypto successes, with pictures of flashy watches and expensive cars. Prior to the stunt, he posted a picture of a thick wad of HK$100 bills.)
He is described by one cryptocurrency news site as a “bitcoin millionaire” and “serial cryptocurrency entrepreneur.” That said, the article also cited complaints about some of his previous ventures. Leonhard Weese, president of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, said Wong’s had a bad reputation in the cryptocurrency community.
“The has a bad reputation because he is very flashy with his wealth and file cash coin makes absolutely no sense,” he told Coconuts HK, via message.
He's not a Bitcoin Millionaire. He is running a pyramid-like scheme well known in the community. Disappointed this is getting so much uncritical attention https://t.co/FSguI7sSkm
— Leo Weese 獅 草地 (@LeoAW) December 16, 2018
On Saturday, he arrived in the working-class district in a Lamborghini.
In a video uploaded to Facebook — accompanied by a message talking about “robbing the rich to help the poor” — he calls it a “big day” for “FCC,” a cryptocurrency he’s promoting.
“I wonder if you guys have ever imagined that there will be a day when money can fall from the sky,” he then says to the camera, as cash starts raining down from the roof of a nearby apartment block.
Witnesses who spoke to Apple Daily said six lots of banknotes were tossed down to the street, estimating that “HK$100,000” was thrown. Police, meanwhile, have so far collected HK$6,000, though aren’t sure of the total amount.
Later on Saturday, Wong announced he would hand out meal coupons outside a restaurant in Sham Shui Po on Sunday at 4pm.
Again arriving in the luxury car carrying a block of banknotes, he was greeted by a large expectant crowd. And this time, police, who detained him at 3:52pm.
However, he didn’t seem particularly perturbed, proceeding to live-stream his own arrest.
“I am doing live-streaming, not taking photos,” he told one policeman, when asked to stop.
Wong claimed he was live-streaming so people could see he was “fine and unhurt” before arriving at the police station in Sham Shui Po.
At press conference on Sunday night, Chief Inspector Kevin Chong Kiu-wai said Wong was arrested for disorderly conduct in a public place. He said police would seek other people involved in the stunt.
Chong also said people who’d claimed the falling cash couldn’t keep it.
“Any person who had found or picked up property or banknotes that not belong to themselves , they should turn it to the police, otherwise they may have committed offenses of theft,” he said.
However, Barrister Albert Luk, who spoke to the SCMP, said that while picking up lost money and failing to report it could be against the law, this case involved Wong giving out the cash, meaning those who collected the bills did not have dishonest intentions.
Come on Hong Kong police, it’s almost Christmas.