Twitch, Riot Games investigating money laundering scandal

Hackers appear to be using bits to launder stolen funds.

Image via Twitch

Twitch’s major data breach and subsequent leak last month revealed payout information for many streamers on the platform. After reviewing the data, members of the Turkish Twitch community pointed out that some small streamers were receiving unusually high amounts of bits.

Now, many are convinced that money laundering is allegedly occurring via the bits feature on the platform. According to Twitch’s refund policy, bits are non-refundable, but fraud remains an exception.

Image via Twitch

YouTuber Jake Lucky explained that the streamers receiving the suspicious bits are purportedly returning most of the bits’ value to the donators, which supports the money laundering claims. And to make the situation even stranger, hackers are allegedly using bots and stolen Twitch accounts with compromised credit cards to donate the bits to streamers.

Many of those who received the bits donations are Turkish VALORANT players. Some have come forward and admitted their involvement in the scandal, such as Lixa Esports’ Farewell, but said they were not aware of any criminal activity.

The scope of the alleged crimes is believed to be massive. VLR.gg’s Corentin Phalip estimates that at least 300 streamers are involved in an alleged money laundering scheme. And the Middle East Eye reported that hackers are believed to have laundered almost $10 million so far.

Twitch is expected to take action against the alleged fraud occurring on its platform and told Dexerto 150 accounts were banned in September alone.

As for whether VALORANT publisher Riot Games will take action, Riot’s Turkish country manager Erdinç İyikul said via a statement that Riot is examining the situation. İyikul also said Riot will not take action until authorities provide further insight into the alleged crimes.

When asked about their fraud policy, a Twitch representative told Dot Esports that any on-platform fraud is considered enforceable, but Twitch’s Off-Service Conduct Policy does not currently include fraudulent activity.