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S Korean Crypto-Pay Company Dragged into Mega Burning Sun Scandal

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

A South Korean cryptocurrency payments platform Nupay is the latest company to be pulled into the aftermath of the long-running major Burning Sun K-pop drug, sex and prostitution scandal.

Seungri. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube/CNBC Indonesia

The scandal originated with a police investigation in January this year of an assault at a Seoul nightclub named Burning Sun, owned by Seungri, a member of popular boyband Big Bang.

However, the investigation quickly intensified, with Seungri and a number of A-list Korean celebrities later found to have been involved in high-stakes drug deals and prostitution rings. The celebrities involved have been charged variously with soliciting prostitutes for big-paying clients, sexual assault and illicitly filming and sharing intimate videos of women taken without their consent.

Big Bang’s talent agency, YG Entertainment – one of the biggest K-pop talent stables in the country – has also been implicated directly in the scandal. The Burning Sun scandal, that even has its own Wikipedia page,has also led to street protests. President Moon Jae-in has since ordered an investigation after several police officers implicated in the scandal were also accused of corruption.

And now Nupay has been dragged into the scandal. The platform had been using Seungri as a model in its advertising campaigns prior to the scandal. But after the news of the boyband member’s arrest broke, a number of Nupay investors demanded refunds.

Media outlet Asiae reports that although an unspecified number of investors have already been refunded, others are yet to receive payment – and some are looking to sue Nupay for fraud.

Nupay has turned to YG, Seungri’s exclusive agency, demanding a refund for the money it paid to the K-pop talent agency for advertising rights and an exclusive photo/video shoot.

However, YG has said that as it had provided (unspecified) “support” for Seungri’s Nupay photo/video shoot, it would only be willing to provide the cryptocurrency company with a “partial” refund.