The cryptocurrency space has often been wrought with fraud, which has caused problems for both regulators and traders. In the state of Texas, a new crypto-based Ponzi scheme has come about that has ultimately caused the area’s securities commissioner to step in.
There’s a New Crypto Ponzi Scheme in Texas
Travis J. Iles has issued an emergency cease and desist order to stop what he is referring to as a fraudulent cryptocurrency trading program. Those allegedly guilty of orchestrating the fraud are companies known as Bitles Limited and C3 Data Services run by Janis Lacis and Edward Carter, respectively. The former company is allegedly stationed in London, while C3 is based in Princeton, Texas.
The Ponzi scheme is telling investors that as many as eight separate savings plans are being offered through the firms at work. They offer an algorithm that allows them to trade through several attached cryptocurrency exchanges and boost their returns, which can potentially be as high as 0.6 percent each day. Other profits are also being guaranteed.
This is likely the first of many red flags that investors need to listen to. For one thing, the cryptocurrency space – no matter how strong it may appear at press time – is still rather volatile, and digital assets can be prone to price swings at any moment. This recently occurred with bitcoin, the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency. The asset dropped from its recent all-time high of more than $63,000 to about $55,000 per unit, suggesting that even the strongest assets are vulnerable.
The crypto space does not provide any guarantees due to this volatility, so a company delving in crypto cannot do so either. Thus, if a company promises returns of any kind, you may want to consider running as fast as you can.
Furthermore, the firms are now promoting what are called BTL Tokens, which are allegedly utility tokens that can be used to purchase goods and services. However, the companies in question claim that the currency is likely to appreciate by as much as 60 percent each month – an exorbitant number. Discussing the potential Ponzi scheme, Joe Rotunda – TSSB enforcement director – said in a statement:
The price and market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has sharply increased over the previous year. Unfortunately, promoters of illegal crypto get-rich-quick schemes are taking advantage of these changes to the market – leveraging widespread interest to peddle fraudulent products. Texans interested in purchasing securities tied to cryptocurrencies should be aware of considerable risks and deal only with issuers lawfully operating in Texas.
Trying to Stop All Fraud
Commissioner Iles adds:
Many legitimate high-tech businesses are embracing digital assets and blockchain technology… Our goal is to promote legitimate capital formation and innovation by protecting the public from fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes. Today’s order stops such a fraudulent offering and protects Texas investors from financial harm.