It's no secret that the top streamers make bank, either from donations or sponsorships due to their massive following. Unfortunately, we can't say the same for small-time streamers. Because of their smaller viewership, they don't always get sponsors and don't receive much in the way of donations. However, this wasn't the case for several small-time streamers that have recently been found out to have been part of a massive money-laundering scheme.
Government gets involved in Twitch money-laundering scheme
The recent Twitch data breach revealed just how much money the platform's biggest streamers are making. What's interesting is that it also shed light on some small-time streamers from Turkey whose streaming earnings were not proportional with their followers.
Upon further investigation, it was found out that the said streamers were part of a scheme where thieves who use stolen credit cards and donate copious amounts of cash to streamers. In exchange, the streamers would receive an estimated 20% cut of the money that they had to transfer to several accounts sent to them by the launderers.
Turkish politician Gürsel Tekin, who is the vice-president of the Republican People's Party, has called on the country's Financial Crimes Investigation Board to look into the scandal and everyone who is involved.
At the moment, it's still not clear just how much money the launderers were able to cycle through the ingenious and straightforward scheme. However, according to recent estimates, it's said that more than 2,400 Turkish streamers took part in it. Tekin also added that the majority are younger streamers who were not privy to the details of the money laundering scheme.
Twitch claims that it has taken action against Turkish streamers that were part of the scheme. Unfortunately, the streaming platform refused to reveal any numbers nor what kind of punishment the involved parties received. Meanwhile, Riot Games is expected to ban the several multiple professional Valorant players involved.
It will be interesting to see the result of the investigations launched by the Turkish government and Twitch. If nothing else, it should make Twitch reconsider taking a close look at its operations and see where it needs to make changes.