A recently discovered 113-year-old Russian shipwreck that may contain more than $130 billion in gold bars and coins is sparking controversy.
According to a statement on its website, Shinil Group intends to share its profits from the salvage of the ship "as well as ancillary businesses such as documentary and film production" through its cryptocurrency, called Shinil Gold Coins.
Shinil hoped to raise the wreck in October or November.
Phil Nuytten, founder and president of Nuytco, said the ship is on a slight slope with the stern at a depth of about 400 metres.
Putting aside the question of whether Shinil is able to pay a 10 percent deposit on 150 trillion won worth of gold, the company looks shady.
Stocks of Jeil Steel, in which Shinil Group's founder has acquired a large share, skyrocketed, only to fall by 20 per cent on Thursday and another 30 per cent on Friday.
According to South Korean company Shinil Group, it has identified the exact location where the ship now lies.
They have stated that when they retrieve the gold, half will be given back to Russian Federation and the rest will be divided between charities within South Korea and organizations working with and in North Korea in pursuit of inter-Korean development.
The currency website also links to a second website for Shinil Group, though all of the links are under construction.
Despite longstanding rumors about the ship's precious cargo, Russian researchers have said it is unlikely that the Donskoi ever carried tons of gold into battle.
There is scepticism about Shinil's claim and the Financial Supervisory Service is closely monitoring trade activity involving the shares of Jeil Steel.
The salvage firm was reportedly searching for the ship for years until two manned submarines found it Saturday, according to The Korea Times.
It's unclear whether Shinil would receive South Korean government approval of its salvage plans.
Shinil disagreed on the amount of its possible deposit, saying what it has officially located was the shipwreck, not treasures on it. "We'll soon go ahead with procedures to rescue the ship".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had not discussed the issue with Moscow.
But South Korean officials are warning investors (who may be looking to pour money into potential stocks in relation to the company), to be leary, as such claims aren't new.