Tag : SEC

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Where Are the Celebrity Endorsed ICO Projects Now?

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Throughout last year we saw the cryptocurrency world reach soaring new heights and among the main drivers for that massive surge were the Initial Coin Offerings that were running rampant throughout the cryptocurrency community. Since there was such a saturation of Initial Coin Offerings throughout the cryptoverse, some of them took steps to stand out from the rest.
That is how the celebrity endorsed ICO projects came into being. The help of celebrities managed to give an added sense of credibility to many of the cryptocurrency ICO projects that took place throughout the year. Here is a look at some of the most prominent celebrity endorsed ICO projects and where they are right now.
The First Celebrity Endorsed ICO
The first Initial Coin Offering project which was endorsed by a celebrity and the first celebrity to get in on the cryptocurrency world was the Stox.com ICO project endorsed by Floyd Mayweather. The Stox.com ICO really took off when they managed to get Mayweather on board with his endorsement and the prediction market platform managed to raise $30 million US dollars in the ICO.
For all intents and purposes, the Stox.com ICO has become the only successful celebrity endorsed ICO project to date. Mayweather started calling himself Floyd “Crypto” Mayweather after his first investment took off. After that he invested in Hubii and Centra, two ICO projects that went belly up. Centra was charged with fraud by the SEC and Hubii didn’t even manage to raise the necessary funding it needed.
From That Point Onwards
Another one of the celebrity endorsed ICO projects was the LydianCoin. This was backed by the great granddaughter of the Hilton Hotels owner, Paris Hilton, who promoted the coin through her tweets, which have since been deleted.
It was only a couple of months after the ICO was announced that people found out that the CEO of the ICO project had been found guilty of committing domestic abuse. The SEC, at this point, also began to warn the would-be investors in the Initial Coin Offerings that there are significant risks involved with investing in ICOs. The fact that well known celebrities are endorsing them should not be considered as adding more credibility to the ICO project.
Lastly, there was another cryptocurrency ICO project which was a blatant rip off of Bitcoin known as “Bitcoiin” with two I’s. The actor Steven Seagal endorsed this project until the time came that he was given a cease and desist order from the court. That’s when he parted ways with the ICO project which was never really going to take off anyway.
There was also John McAfee who was charging $100k for every tweet he would post about the cryptocurrency world, that was until regulatory bodies warned him and urged him to discontinue.
Other than the Stox.com ICO project, none of the celebrity endorsed ICO projects have ever actually gone on to become successful. Most of them have been questionable projects and people have now been sufficiently warned about staying away from the questionable ICO projects.

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Crypto Services Platform Founder Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges in US

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The world of cryptocurrencies has been wrought with trouble since the start including everything from the volatility in its value to ever-changing regulations. And with increasing popularity of the cryptocurrency industry, the aspect of fraud has become a constant nuisance for the community at large. Among the cryptocurrency scam was the creation of the now defunct cryptocurrency services platform called BitFunder and the cryptocurrency exchange WeExchange. In a recent turn of events, the founder of these two cryptocurrency related companies, Jon Montroll, has pleaded guilty to having committed fraud in a United States courtroom.
The investment platform and cryptocurrency exchange founder, Montroll has pleaded guilty to the federal charges he has been subjected to that he has stolen the funds entrusted to him by his customers and that he has lied to the regulatory authorities in the US about the theft of virtual currency.
The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York City stated that Montroll has pled guilty to one of the counts of security fraud and one count of obstruction of justice that he has been charged with. Montroll was arrested in February for his crimes, and each of the charges that he has pleaded guilty to carries a potential two decades of jail time.
For those who are not privy to the crimes that he has committed, BitFunder was a cryptocurrency investment platform created by Jon Montroll that allowed users to sell the virtual shares of businesses in exchange for the appropriate amount of Bitcoin units in return. This company started in 2012 and shut down only a year after it came into being. The allegation against him is that he used the platform in order to defraud the investors. He converted a portion of the cryptocurrency he was entrusted with using WeExchange for his own use without the knowledge of the users of his platform.
That and the fact that Montroll solicited investments in a security known as Ukyo.Loan where he made promises to the investors that they would be getting daily interest from him and that they could easily redeem the shares they had bought whenever they chose fit.
The same year saw hackers get away with 6,000 units of Bitcoin from WeExchange, which amount to $48 million right now. That left WeExchange unable to pay back the investors from Ukyo.Loan, the users of WeExchange itself and the BitFunder investors. He never bothered to report the breach and continued to solicit investments from customers.
Only after the investigation going on right now with the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission involved has he admitted to the theft having taken place and the funds having been stolen by hackers. He also accepted that he lied to the SEC about it previously.

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SEC Approval Was Never Needed to List Security Tokens – Coinbase

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Yes, you read that right. Coinbase, the San Francisco based cryptocurrency giant made an announcement that it never needed the approval from the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission for listing security tokens – back pedaling from a previously made statement in which they claimed they had received the approval of the SEC for it.
The 17th of July saw reports surface that the giant of a cryptocurrency exchange had received approvals from the Securities and Exchanges Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for acquiring Keystone Capital Corporation, Digital Wealth LLC and Venovate Marketplace Incorporated. It was after acquiring these three firms that helped Coinbase secure an Alternative Trading System license, a license for broker-dealer and the license to be known as a registered investment advisor.
Having made the announcement, the San Francisco based cryptocurrency exchange giant back pedaled on its statement just after two days. The 19th of July saw reports coming out that the spokesperson of Coinbase said no such approvals were given by the Securities and Exchanges Commission – it was never even needed for them to acquire those companies.
She went on to say that the discussions Coinbase had with Keystone were made on an informal basis without the involvement of the SEC in any form or manner. The acquisition deal did not see any oversight from the regulatory authority. At the same time, TechCrunch reported that Coinbase has confirmed it received approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for the acquisition – essentially disregarding the announcement made previously. This is a clear sign of blatant miscommunication within the cryptocurrency exchange giant.
Things between the Securities and Exchanges Commission and the cryptocurrency world have historically been “salty” with the authority having cracked down on a lot of cryptocurrency related businesses in the past from exchanges to wallet providing services.
The July of this year has been quite an active time for Coinbase. It has made a number of announcements and the developments being made by the cryptocurrency exchange giant are making quite a few waves in the cryptocurrency community at a macro level.
One of those announcements is the teasing being done by Coinbase that it might just add a few more tokens to the exchange from the likes of Stellar Lumens, Zcash, 0x, Basic Attention Token and Cardano within its list. Of course, there are regulatory concerns to be sorted out before adding them. After all, the cryptocurrency exchange follows legal protocols stringently and cautiously. It remains to be seen what comes of it.

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Bitcoin Reaching $50k by 2019 – Is it Possible?

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Bitcoin has experienced bear like cycles in its valuation throughout its existence over the almost 9 years. The world’s largest cryptocurrency would see itself rise in value by several hundreds of percent and then drop down by around 70 to 80 percent in its value during a correction midterm.

2014 saw Bitcoin suffer one of the worst corrections in Bitcoin’s short history when it went down in its value by 80 percent within the space of a year. All things considered, this year so far has been a faster version of the year long correction four years ago. The similarity between the two can be drawn by looking at the fact that both of these corrections came because of either individual trader bubbles or because of the booming of retail.

A popular hedge fund trader and researcher in the Bitcoin universe known as Spook has recently made a prediction that Bitcoin will hit the $50,000 mark by the end of 2018.

Is That Possible?

In light of the historic trends, after a correction where the value has dropped by 70 to 80 percent, Bitcoin has surged back by substantial degrees. Even though there is the need of a short term of considerable stability in its valuation (two weeks at best), Bitcoin has always made it past its all time highs once that correction has happened.

Bitcoin does have a tendency to violently fluctuate in its prices, seeing massive gains and massive losses within a short timeframe. If traders are looking for profits 10 to 20 times than what they have invested, they need to be prepared for 80 percent in losses on their investments as well.

The possibility of Bitcoin rising up to the $50k mark as predicted by Spook seems likely to happen. One of the reasons for that being considered an inevitability is the historic trends that the cryptocurrency has followed and as you know, history tends to repeat itself.

The second factor coming in to make it a possibility is that Cboe, one of the biggest options exchanges on the planet has filed for a Bitcoin ETF with the SEC. This will make it more likely for the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission to approve the first Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund.

That and the fact that the parent company is reportedly going to offer cryptocurrency custodianship in the near future might make Spook’s prediction about Bitcoin reaching the $50,000 mark a reality.