Craig Wright on Bitcoin and the reactionary response to a revolt

With the recent price downturn in the digital asset markets, inexperienced investors face a tremendous loss of money. The affected only recently have started to ask the question: what kind of a so-called digital currency have I actually bought? Is there any value to it, or have I been scammed? This is a result of the democratization of finance, which is depicted as solely positive. It indeed has positive sides, but the negative ones are barely mentioned at the moment. What democratization of finance means is the easy access to…

Signal app creator Moxie Marlinspike proves NFT signal-to-noise ratio is low

In the middle of what can only be deemed the NFT (aka ‘Web3’) craze these days, it is good to see that finally some blockchain token applications are arising which doesn’t use the token as a fund raising mechanism (see ICOs and how they will all be getting in trouble with the SEC soon). NFTs are very loosely blockchain tech used in order to associate a digital unique token to a real world piece of property. This property may be physical, or digital in nature, such as digital art, or…

US regulator charges Latvian man involved in $7M ICO scams

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against a Latvian man accused of orchestrating two digital currency scams. The first related to a digital currency debit card while the second was a fake block reward mining project token sale. In a press release, the SEC revealed it had filed a civil complaint in the Eastern District of New York against Ivars Auzins. According to the regulator, Auzins allegedly defrauded hundreds of investors and took off with at least $7 million through two unregistered digital asset securities offerings.…

South Korean regulator wants ICO ban reversed

In September 2017, at the height of the initial coin offering (ICO) mania, South Korea’s financial regulator banned all token sales in the country, taking after neighboring China. Now, the watchdog wants this ban reversed and is calling for regulation in the sector. A local outlet Money Today report reveals that the Financial Services Commission (FSC) may be changing its stance on ICOs. The vice chairman of the FSC Do Gyu-sang argued that the country should reexamine its hardline stance against ICOs and, rather than impose a blanket ban, it should regulate them. Do…

Celsius CFO Shalem’s arrest confirmed in Israel, adding to customer concerns

News reports have emerged that solidify arrest rumors surrounding Celsius Network CFO Yarom Shalem in Tel Aviv, allegedly in relation to investor fraud worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars. The arrest list reportedly included Israeli entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg, who has been sued multiple times for misappropriation of funds in previous ICOs. Chatter concerning Shalem’s arrest has buzzed on social media for the past couple of days, putting Celsius on edge at a crucial point in its history. The company in October raised US$400 million in a Series B funding…

Reports of Celsius Network CFO’s arrest could signal more trouble for Tether

Celsius Network, the “cryptocurrency bank” valued at US$3 billion, is again under scrutiny this week after rumors spread that its CFO Yaron Shalem had been arrested for fraud in Israel. The company has received funding and loans from Tether, issuer of the ubiquitous but troubled USDT “stablecoin.” Let’s try this again. Really easy question for Celsius Network CEO @Mashinsky: Was your CFO Yaron Shalem recently arrested in Israel over fraud allegations relating to the Moshe Hogeg case? cc @BrianSozzi, @dee_bosa, @ZekeFaux @matt_levine, @jimcramer — Nate Anderson (@ClarityToast) November 24, 2021…

Rivetz ICO worth $18M charged in US over selling ‘worthless’ tokens

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged yet another 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) project over securities violation. The project, known as Rivetz, allegedly sold a security in its native RvT token without registering with the commission. Rivetz was one of the many ICO projects that sprung up during the great ICO fever of 2017, when each new blockchain project claimed to be solving every other major global challenge. However, the company had been founded four years prior in 2013 by Steven Sprague, according to the regulator. Between June and September…

SEC latest investor warning targets digital currency scams and ICOs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning to investors to be wary of digital currency investment scams, in the latest note of caution over digital currency to be sounded by the regulator. The announcement was published via the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force, noting that investors risked “devastating losses” as a result of scams and fraud. In particular, the SEC pointed to the rise of initial coin offerings, or ICOs, as one of the main…

Actor Steven Seagal must pay ICO promotion fines: US judge

One of the world’s popular action movie actors must pay the full penalty imposed for promoting a digital currency ICO, a U.S. federal judge has ruled. Steven Seagal got into trouble for touting Bitcoiin2Gen’s ICO and even though he agreed to pay over $300,000 in fines, he has since relocated to Russia and stopped the payment. The veteran actor caught regulators’ ire when he started touting Bitcoiin 2nd Generation (Bitcoiin2Gen) as an unmissable investment opportunity, and even went as far as issuing a press release to announce that he was…

DROP token creators plead guilty to $1.8M ICO scam, settle with SEC

Two Californian men have agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud charges in connection with an unregistered ICO they conducted in 2017. The two raised $1.9 million by selling over 600 million native tokens, all while issuing false statements, presenting fake profitability statements and making unattainable promises to the investors, authorities said. In a press release, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said the two men from Orange County in California were each charged with one count of securities fraud. In addition to agreeing to plead guilty to the charges,…