LUNA Pumps 77% as Do Kwon Evades Extradition—But the Gains Are Fading



What is dead may never die. 

Nearly two years after LUNA collapsed from over $80 to less than a cent, erasing $60 billion in value and triggering a crypto-wide bear market, the new version of the cryptocurrency made a surprise rally on Tuesday, jumping 77% in just two hours.

Don’t get too excited (or concerned)—LUNA, the rebooted version of the original native token of the now-defunct Terra ecosystem (now called Luna Classic, or LUNC), is nowhere near returning to the original LUNA’s position of dominance.

It did jump today from $0.83 to $1.47, however, on marginally encouraging news about Terra’s currently incarcerated founder, Do Kwon. But the gains aren’t holding, with the price of LUNA already falling to $1.12 as of this writing. Still, that’s a 39% leap over the last 24 hours.

Kwon is currently in a Montenegro prison awaiting extradition to either the United States or his native South Korea to face both criminal and civil charges. On Tuesday, a Montenegrin appeals court ruled—for the second time in a month—that a lower court’s approval of Kwon’s extradition to the U.S. relied on “significant violations of the provisions of criminal procedure,” and was thus invalid. 

Whatever emboldened LUNA-heads still remain out there likely seized on the news as a glimmer of hope that Kwon—and his long-since desiccated crypto empire—might yet evade the wrath of legal consequences. Immediately following the legal update, LUNA pumped some 77%, according to CoinGecko.

LUNC, or LUNA Classic, also pumped 33% on Tuesday following the news. But it couldn’t hold onto the gains at all, falling below the pre-pump price before rebounding slightly. It’s up 9% over the last 24 hours, but ultimately down by nearly 100% from the 2022 all-time high price of over $119.

Dreams of Kwon escaping a rough series of criminal and civil trials for his role in creating and shepherding LUNA and its associated algorithmic stablecoin, UST, may be a bit fanciful, however. Kwon’s case now returns to a lower Montenegro court which will rule once again on the question of his extradition. 

And even if the disgraced crypto founder somehow avoids being sent to the U.S., he’ll then instead be sent home to South Korea and tried for crimes there. 

But on Crypto Twitter, pro-LUNC and LUNA maximalists didn’t seem in the mood to consider such grim realities. 

“Undoubtedly, Do Kwon will continue to contribute to the development of LUNC,” one account wrote. 

Edited by Andrew Hayward

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.



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