The Crypto Ponzi Scheme Avenger

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“So that’s my money gone,” read the top comment in mid-October. “Lesson learned.”

To Mr. de Hek, everything about the Hyper empire seems suspicious. On its website and in promotional videos, HyperFund explained that investors could buy “memberships,” starting at $300, and earn “rewards” that would accrue daily in their account. Those rewards took the form of “HU,” the internal trading currency, said to have parity with the U.S. dollar.

And why would everyone’s HU triple in 600 days? Because the putative founders of HyperFund — Ryan Xu and Sam Lee, described on promotional sites as a pair of superstar blockchain entrepreneurs — were going to pour all that cash into promising and profitable crypto projects, which they claimed would eventually serve 30 million customers. They also said the company would go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

It sounded plausible to many. Whoever ran HyperFund exploited the…

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