A South Korean company has claimed to have discovered the 113-year old wreck of the Russian battleship Dmitrii Donskoii, reportedly containing more than $100 billion worth of lost gold. While the matter of who actually has salvage rights remains contested, a cryptocurrency exchange has emerged, offering to “share profits” from the wreck with its users.
A $100 Billion Dollar Discovery?
According to reports by Reuters and The Telegraph, on July 19, 2018, South Korea-based Shinil Group announced that it had discovered the wreck of the Dimitri Donskoii – a Russian Imperial Navy cruiser believed to have been sunk in 1905 after battling Japanese warships.
Under the auspices of Shinil Group, a team of experts from South Korea, Britain, and Canada discovered the wreck on July 15. Through the use of submersibles, the team was able to read the name on the sunken vessel, positively confirming its identity as the Dmitrii Donskoii.
In a statement announcing the find, the company noted:
The body of the ship was severely damaged by shelling, with its stern almost broken, and yet the ship’s deck and sides are well preserved.
The ship is believed to have sunk with 5,500 boxes of gold bars as well as 200 tons of gold coins in its holds – a claim which the Shinil Group says it will prove when it releases footage of the discovery’s findings at a press conference next week.
Shinil Group representative Park Sung-jin spoke with Reuters, saying:
We believe there are gold boxes, and it’s historically proven.
He further described the boxes as “tightly lashed” – an indication that they contain “really precious stuff.”
If the claims bear out, the value of the sunken treasure would be well over $100 billion at current market value.
Salvage Rights Still Up in the Air
While the identity of the sunken ship may have been confirmed, the issue of who actually has the salvage rights is far from certain. In addition to Shinil Group, there are at least two