We dug into Haru Invest’s “Unable to Withdraw” issue

Haru Invest claims to provide an annualized yield of over 10% for deposits such as Bitcoin through strategies such as brick-moving.

Written by: Babywhale, Foresight News

Today Beijing time, digital asset management platform Haru Invest issued an article stating that recently a certain service partner encountered some problems and suspended platform deposits and withdrawals in order to protect user assets. Later, the Korean Joint News Agency reported that Haru Invest’s office was suspected of being closed, and social accounts such as Instagram and LinkedIn were cancelled. Upbit, a Korean cryptocurrency exchange, then restricted the withdrawal of cryptocurrency assets targeted at Haru Invest.

According to the Korean Joint News Agency, Hugo Hyungsoo Lee, CEO of Haru Invest, said that the reason for closing the offline office was because he was worried that suspending deposits and withdrawals might bring risks to employees, but he did not explain the cancellation of social media accounts.

Subsequently, Haru Invest tweeted that Haru Invest’s office is still operating normally, and the so-called “rug pull controversy” mentioned in the online circulated article is completely untrue.

As the saying goes, “once bitten by a snake, ten years afraid of the well rope.” Investors in cryptocurrencies, who have experienced many institutions “patting their chests” in 2022 and assuring them that nothing will happen, have become frightened birds. Will Haru Invest repeat the script of Al***da or 3*C? The author summarized Haru Invest’s company and personnel background and product details from existing public information, trying to find clues.

What services does Haru Invest provide to C-end users

Haru Invest allows users to deposit cryptocurrency to generate income, divided into four products: Haru Wallet, Earn Plus, Earn Explore, and Haru Mining.

Haru Wallet

Haru Invest claims that Haru Wallet is a product similar to a demand deposit account, with a maximum annualized yield of 6.1%, and no need to lock in. Interest is paid daily. The product supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT, XRP, and USDC. Users only need to deposit cryptocurrency to generate income.

Earn Plus

Earn Plus is an investment product similar to a fixed deposit, supporting the same assets as Haru Wallet, but requiring users to lock in for 15 to 365 days. Of course, its yield is higher than the former. Interest is also paid daily.

Earn Explore

Earn Explore generates returns for users’ deposited assets through a certain trading strategy, which is locked for at least 1 to 3 months and returns are paid in a lump sum after the lock-up period ends. According to the official website, Earn Explore’s strategies are divided into four types: algorithmic high-frequency trading based on Bitcoin, algorithmic futures market trading and hedging based on USDT, high-frequency trading on Ethereum futures market, and providing liquidity for DeFi protocols.

The product does not charge management fees, but if the annualized rate of return during the lock-up period is higher than 15%, a 15% performance fee will be charged.

It is worth mentioning that Haru Invest states on its official website that its trading strategy includes arbitrage trading between different exchanges and futures arbitrage, and whether these simple strategies can achieve such high returns in the current market is questionable.

Haru Mining

This product is similar to a “cloud mining” product, where users can invest USDT and lock it up for a certain period of time to obtain Bitcoin income generated by mining. Haru Invest claims that the mining revenue comes from its Bitcoin mining farm in Paraguay, but the website does not provide detailed information about the mining farm.

Haru Invest’s company and member background

Haru Invest is a product under Block Crafters. Block Crafters was established in 2018 and is a digital asset institution headquartered in South Korea. In addition to Haru Invest, Block Crafters also includes venture capital firm Block Crafters Capital, accelerator Block Crafters Acceleration, blockchain platform Beyond Constant, and blockchain media D.STREET. Among them, Block Crafters Capital has raised $64 million and the total valuation of the invested companies exceeds $825 million.

Looking at the resumes of the Haru Invest team members, they are not ordinary people. (The following information is from personal LinkedIn pages)

Haru Invest’s CEO, Hugo Lee, has worked at Block Crafters for over 4 years and has served as a senior advisor, financial chief, and vice president. Before working at Block Crafters, Hugo Lee worked as an assistant manager at Doosan Group, a Korean Fortune 500 company, and as a supervisor at GS Caltex, a Korean oil refinery.

Sang Woon Oh joined Haru Invest as Chief Marketing Officer in May 2021. He has a rich work experience, notably as a project manager for the Japanese social media giant LINE, which has recently gone all-in on the Web3 industry.

Sejoon Lim was previously the Chief Technology Officer at Haru Invest until January 2023, and is currently working as a Product Manager. He was a senior advisor at Oracle and also served as head of SaaS services at LG U+, a telecommunications operator under LG Group.

As for the last core member listed on the official website, Sooyeon Kim, no information is available for the time being as her LinkedIn page cannot be accessed. If relevant information is found in the future, we will update it as soon as possible.

From the publicly available information, there is not much information to dig into regarding the core members of Haru Invest’s team. The team has not been very high-profile since its inception, with few reports in the vertical media and little activity on social media. The question arises as to where the near 10% return on investment products comes from, and whether the strategy for high-yield products can support such a high rate of return. In addition, if closing offline office space to protect employees is understandable, then the move to cancel some social media accounts is somewhat incomprehensible.

Foresight News will continue to monitor whether Haru Invest has only temporarily encountered problems with its partners or has actually “Rug Pulled”.

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