Public officials and their public statements

You are invited to visit the public sector websites, and get news without the filters. News without the filters is amazing, your life will be much better, for sure!!!

In the U.S. the internet made the public sector more open and disclose, maybe block-chain will take it to the next level? The information is out their for you to read. It can help you avoiding fraud and misconduct. Simple government’s website search will do, and you will get the information you need.

Example (if you want expend your ICOs knowledge):

Public statement about ICOs (Steven Peikin, 15 May 2018):

I want to focus in more detail on this last category, in part because there has been a lot of public attention on our recent Enforcement activities in this space. As many of you know, in just a few years, cryptocurrency and ICO markets have grown from a mere concept into a phenomenon.

The novelty of ICOs, coupled with excitement about the potential utility of the underlying blockchain or distributed ledger technology, makes these offerings particularly enticing for some investors.

But the growth in the ICO market can obscure the fact that these offerings are often high-risk investments. The issuers may lack established track records. They may not have viable products, business models, or the capacity for safeguarding digital currencies from theft by hackers. And some of the offerings are simply outright frauds.

In a number of cases, the Commission has taken early action to stop or deter misconduct, protect investors, and preserve assets. One such matter involves charges against three co-founders of a purported financial services start-up who, we allege, orchestrated a fraudulent ICO that raised more than $32 million from thousands of investors last year.

In a number of our cases, there have been clear indicia of outright fraud, but the Commission has also brought cases to enforce the registration laws. Last December, we settled with a food-review startup after determining that the company’s ICO was an unlawful, unregistered offering. The company refunded investor proceeds before any tokens were distributed after the Commission intervened.

We have also suspended trading in the stock of numerous companies because of concerns about the accuracy and adequacy of information about the companies regarding, among other things, the adoption of blockchain technology.

We strongly believe regulated ICOs will protect the public better.

Also, please check out the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy’s mock initial coin offering (ICO) website that touts an all too good to be true investment opportunity. But please don’t expect the SEC to fly you anywhere exotic—because the offer isn’t real.

 

 

Bitcoin auto-trading or anything alike

Please remember, those auto-trading services may not be regulated. They can tell you anything, and promise you the sky, but there is a chance you will not get your money back.

Please consult with your financial adviser, it worth your money. However, please remember that you should question your Financial Adviser work.

Do not use an advice without question it. You should do your own research, in order to question your Financial Adviser work.

Please make sure your your Financial Adviser is registered and license. The financial Adviser’s license is here to protect you, therefore, please make sure you check it.

If your Financial Adviser is not registered or license, you should not use its services/advice.

If you search on google “Bitcoin Trader auto-trading” you may get to https://gunbot.shop/store/ or https://www.ifcmarkets.com/en/contact-us, it seems that those websites do not have any valid/real license. If you invested through them, your money might be at risk.

It is not be fair to blame Google, they are not the regulator, but you can report about those ads to Google. Google might provide you more details about who is behind those ads, and/or stop such ads.

Some regulators are trying to fight back against those crypto frauds. For example FSMA (Belgium). FSMA issues the following:

List of cryptocurrency trading platforms about which the FSMA has received questions/complaints from consumers and has identified signs of fraud. Please find attached a link for the full list.

In addition, FSMA issued the following alert:

Cryptocurrency trading platforms: beware of fraud!

In recent weeks, a large number of new platforms offering all and sundry the chance to
invest in cryptocurrencies have appeared on the internet. The FSMA warns the public
about these new platforms, since often there are fraudsters behind them who are now
using cryptocurrencies to swindle consumers. Please find attached a link for the warning. If you heard/read the following, then you should read the alert again:

“Invest in cryptocurrencies with full confidence.”
“Invest in digital currencies in full confidence on one of the most renowned platforms on the market.”
“XXX: trading in cryptocurrencies easily accessible at last!”

Sec statement and DC Blockchain Summit March 7 2018

Please note that according to the sec statement as of March 7 2018:

The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not.  Many platforms refer to themselves as “exchanges,” which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange.  Although some of these platforms claim to use strict standards to pick only high-quality digital assets to trade, the SEC does not review these standards or the digital assets that the platforms select, and the so-called standards should not be equated to the listing standards of national securities exchanges.

Please find attached a link for the full statement. Please don’t get confused, and remember that some “exchanges” are not regulated by the sec.

Highlights from the keynote Address by Commissioner Brian Quintenz before the DC Blockchain Summit:

in the spot markets for commodities, neither the CFTC nor any other federal agency has that same oversight authority. This means the agency cannot impose things like registration requirements on platforms or participants in the cash markets, surveillance and monitoring requirements on spot platforms, or otherwise require compliance with business conduct standards or other trading requirements. The CFTC only has enforcement authority to police fraud and manipulation in the actual trading of commodities. Pursuant to this enforcement jurisdiction, the CFTC can investigate potential fraud and manipulation in the underlying virtual currency spot markets.

I think we’ve come to the point with cryptocurrencies where an independent body must step up, establish, and enforce the rules of play. It is my hope that cryptocurrency platforms in the United States will consider the many benefits, including enhanced credibility, that the establishment of an SRO-like organization may provide. Moreover, in light of the global market for cryptocurrencies, and the efforts currently underway in the United Kingdom and Japan, there is no reason why a private, cryptocurrency oversight body could not achieve global significance.

Please find attached a link for the full keynote address. It means that the Cryptocurrency world is not fully supervised and regulated. Moreover, if the local players will cooperate together fairly, it will be for the best interest of the Cryptocurrency market (all players and clients alike).

Additional stories worth reading

Please find below few stories worth reading (Chicago, Ill. introducing broker Fortune Trading Group, Inc, Telegram ICO, pump-and-dump classic story and the latest from Information Commissioner Office):

  1. NFA permanently bars Chicago, Ill. introducing broker Fortune Trading Group, Inc. from membership, bars its principal and associated person Jonathan Schuler from membership for five years, and orders Chicago, Ill. futures commission merchant Ironbeam, Inc. to pay a $100,000 fine – if you will read the full story (please find attached a link), you will understand that even if regulated entity promise you large profits, you should be skeptical. Moreover, if someone offers you large profits without mentioning the other scenarios, just stay away from the offer. Simple as that!!!
  2. Fake Website Scam Targets Aspiring Telegram ICO Investors – it is important to be aware that some fraudsters are using the Telegram ICO hypes to make quick profits.
  3. What is pump-and-dump? well, the attached story will provide an answer (it is a classic pump-and-dump case). You should really be careful with those Microcap Stocks trading. Microcap Stocks can be easily maneuver, and statscally they are more exposed to pump-and-dump schemes.
  4. ICO is also UK Information Commissioner Office initials. You should know that you can report about nuisance calls or any other issues related to your Data Protection.
    You can review their Enforcement action on the attached link, and more about them in general in the attached link.
    Please find an example for their latest Enforcement action:
    Firm previously fined for making nuisance calls is prosecuted for continuing to break the law:
    Direct Choice Home Improvements Limited had been fined £50,000 by the ICO in 2016 and was also issued with a formal Enforcement Notice, ordering it to cease contacting people registered with the Telephone Preference Service.
    It continued to make unsolicited marketing calls, however, and so was prosecuted under the ICO’s criminal enforcement powers.

Insider trading, FBI, Coincheck, Bitconnect, OneCoin, Tether

Six important stories:

  1. Please play fair. Insider trading will always be caught. Please find attached an example for an insider trading litigation case. Just stay away from it.
  2. The FBI need your help. Please review the below:
    If you have received any previous communications about your investments with Banc de Binary from someone claiming to be from a government agency, please fill out the questionnaire attached. Based on the answers you provide, the FBI or the SEC may wish to contact you to find out more about what happened.
  3. According to cointelegraph.com, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, one of the largest in the country, was the victim of a massive hack resulting in a loss of $534 mln. Please find attached a link for the full story. Exchanges must be regulated by a security commission, there is no other way.
  4. According to cointelegraph.com, Former BitConnect investors have filed a class action lawsuit, seeking compensation from the company that was found out to be a ponzi scheme and has shut down on Jan. 17, 2018. Please find attached a link for the full story.
  5. According to cointelegraph.com, OneCoin offices were raided and its servers seized in Sofia, Bulgaria, as yet another step in a series of international raids and court cases against the highly-controversial altcoin. Although the servers were shut down, OneCoin currently remains operational. Please find attached a link for the full story. If you want to avoid ponzi scheme, please search your entity at behindmlm.com/ (the people of behindmlm, are doing good service for the public).
  6. Tether is an unregulated cryptocurrency token that was issued on the Bitcoin blockchain. Although no audits are publicly available, according to Tether Limited, each unit of Tether is backed by one United States dollar held in reserve by Tether Limited, and may be redeemed through the Tether Platform. Please note that some people think it is a ponzi scheme. Please find attached an example for a very important economist who think it is a ponzi scheme (link).

Western Union, Cold-calling, IOTA wallet, bitFlyer, Benebit ICO, My Big Coin and Bitcoin Money Laundering

Seven interesting stories:

  1. Victims Scammed Via Western Union May Get Refund – If you need to get a refund, please visit ACCC website for more details. You will have to fill out a form and send documents, but it might be worth trying.
  2. Cold-calling – we need to continue to report those unwanted calls. In the UK a company director was disqualified (can’t run or be involved in the management of another company). The company he managed made unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes. Please find attached a link for the full press release.
  3. If you are dealing with IOTA , please do not use online seed generators. According to some news outlets around $4m worth of IOTA were stolen, therefore, it is advisable to review the attached reddit post.
  4. bitFlyer EUROPE S.A. Obtains Payment Institution License and Launches Service in Europe. Please find attached a link for the full press release. It is a good sign for EU cryptocurrency users, since now they are more protected.
    According to the press release, in addition to the above, bitFlyer was registered as a virtual currency exchange by the Japan Financial Services Agency in September 2017, and bitFlyer USA is licensed to operate in 42 states as of November 2017.
  5. According to bitcoin.com, Benebit ICO has pulled an exit scam, making off with a reported $2.7 million of investor funds. Please find attached a link for the full story.
  6. CFTC Charges Randall Crater, Mark Gillespie, and My Big Coin Pay, Inc. with Fraud and Misappropriation in Ongoing Virtual Currency Scam. Defendants allegedly solicited more than $6 million for investments in a virtual currency known as “My Big Coin”. According to the press release “My Big Coin” is a Ponzi scheme.
    Please find attached a link for the full story.
  7. New Study Finds Patterns in Money Laundering through Bitcoin. It is the first public domain analysis of how illicit digital currency is laundered around the globe.
    According to the article attached, Bitcoin gambling sites, “mixers” and European Bitcoin exchange may be the destinations of choice for criminals looking to launder bitcoins.

 

GTK Enforcement Actions and Enforcement agency

GTK – three enforcement actions and one enforcement agency statement (ESMA):

  1. CFTC Charges Colorado Resident Dillon Michael Dean and His Company, The Entrepreneurs Headquarters Limited, with Engaging in a Bitcoin and Binary Options Fraud Scheme
    The complaint alleges that defendants solicited customer deposits using the online media and false claims. The defendants claimed that customers’ funds would be pooled and invested in commodity options on behalf of customers. But, as alleged, defendants were not actually engaged in trading on behalf of their customers, and defendants’ purported trading profits were fictitious. The defendants misappropriated over $1 million in customers’ funds, while Dean has launched another similar purported trading venture under the name Real Trade Profits, using a website to solicit customers to deposit Bitcoin for a pooled investment in binary options trading and promising high rates of return.
  2. CFTC Charges Patrick K. McDonnell and His Company CabbageTech, Corp. d/b/a Coin Drop Markets with Engaging in Fraudulent Virtual Currency Scheme
    The CFTC complaint alleges, McDonnell and CDM engaged in a deceptive and fraudulent virtual currency scheme to induce customers to send money and virtual currencies to CDM, purportedly in exchange for real-time virtual currency trading advice and for virtual currency purchasing and trading on behalf of the customers under McDonnell’s direction. In fact, as charged in the CFTC Complaint, the advice was never provided, and customers who provided funds to McDonnell and CDM to purchase or trade on their behalf never saw those funds again. In short, McDonnell and CDM used their fraudulent solicitations to obtain and then simply misappropriate customer funds.
  3. The Massachusetts Securities Division is charging a resident of the state with violating securities laws through an initial coin offering (ICO)
    According to the complaint, the company and its founder, violated Massachusetts securities law in the way they designed, promoted and sold “Caviar tokens,” which are units of cryptocurrency that entitle their owners to receive a portion of the profits from Caviar’s investment activities.
    The Massachusetts Securities Division — which labeled Caviar’s ICO a “cryptocurrency scheme” — wants Caviar to shut down the ICO, return all the money paid so far, and pay an administrative fine.
  4. ESMA published a statement explaining, that it was considering the possible use of its product intervention powers, to address investor protection concerns posed by the marketing, distribution and sale of CFDs and binary options to retail investors.
    It is now seeking evidence from stakeholders on the impact of the following proposed measures:
    Contracts for Difference
    The specific potential measures under consideration are:
    i. Leverage limits on the opening of a position by a retail client. These would range from 30:1 to 5:1 to reflect the historical price behaviour of different classes of underlying assets;
    ii. A margin close out rule on a position by position basis. This would standardise the percentage of margin at which providers are required to close out a retail client’s open CFD;
    iii. Negative balance protection on a per account basis. This would provide an overall guaranteed limit on retail client losses;
    iv. A restriction on the incentivisation of trading provided by a CFD provider; and
    v. A standardised risk warning by CFD providers. This would include an indication of the range of losses on retail investor accounts.
    ESMA is also considering whether CFDs in cryptocurrencies should be addressed in the measures.
    Binary Options
    The potential measure under consideration is a prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail investors.

IOSCO warnings

IOSCO is the leading international policy forum for securities regulators and is recognized as the global standard setter for securities regulation. The organization’s membership regulates more than 95% of the world’s securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions and it continues to expand.

In its meeting on 18-19 October 2017, the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) discussed the growing usage of ICOs to raise capital as an area of concern.

According to IOSCO, there are clear risks associated with these offerings. ICOs are highly speculative investments in which investors are putting their entire invested capital at risk. While some operators are providing legitimate investment opportunities to fund projects or businesses, the increased targeting of ICOs to retail investors through online distribution channels by parties often located outside an investor’s home jurisdiction,  which may not be subject to regulation or may be operating illegally in violation of existing laws, raises investor protection concerns.
There have also been instances of fraud, and as a result, investors are reminded to be very careful in deciding whether to invest in ICOs.

A list of all the Regulators’ Statements on Initial Coin Offerings can be found at IOSCO’s website.

Another alert concerns Generic Top Level Domains Program (gTLD Program). It means domains with the following ending: capital, .cash, .cashbackbonus, .broker, .brokers, .claims, .exchange, .finance, .financial, .fianancialaid, .forex, .fund, .investments, .lease, .loan, .loans, .market, .markets, .money, .pay, .payu, .retirement, .save, .trading, .autoinsurance, .bank, .banque, .carinsurance, .credit, .creditcard, .creditunion, .insurance, .insure, .ira, .lifeinsurance, .mortgage, .mutualfunds, .mutuelle, .netbank, .reit, .tax, .travellerinsurance, .vermogensberater, vermogensberatung and vesicherung.

According to IOSCO, investors and consumers should note that the registration and use of one of these domains by a financial services company, investment firm or individual does not guarantee that the company or person using it has been authorized to operate by the relevant financial services regulator.

Investors and consumers are urged to consult the registry of authorized financial entities and individuals in their jurisdictions in order to confirm whether a company or individual using one of these domains is authorized to offer financial services. Unlike investors and consumers who employ authorized entities, those who deal with unauthorized firms and individuals receive no legal protection.

Kodak, AMERI Holdings, Recon Technology, SPI Energy and NQ Mobile

The common between Kodak, AMERI Holdings, Recon Technology and NQ Mobile is blockchain-related news.

Once the blockchain-related news announced, those stocks started to move sharply, for example:

Following the news about Eastman Kodak Initial Coin Offering (ICO), the company’s shares rallied from $3.1 on 08.01.2018, closing at $6.8 on 09.01.2018, and $10.70 on 10.01.2018. Furthermore, the trading volume soar from $255,700 on 08.01.2018 to $71,427,400 on 09.01.2018, and up to $107,512,900 on 10.01.2018. On 16.01.2018 the trading volume and the stock price were still higher, compared with 08.01.2018 ($8,624,122 and $8.5, respectively).

Following AMERI Holdings announcement (establishment of a blockchain initiative aimed at improving supply chain visibility, transparency and efficiency), the company shares soar from $3.42 on 09.01.2018 to $5.88 on 10.01.2018. In addition, the trading volume increased from $30,300 on 09.01.2018 to $13,615,800 on 10.01.2018. On 16.01.2018 the trading volume and the stock price were still higher, compared with 09.01.2018 ($532,200 and $3.98, respectively).

Following Recon Technology announcement (to Create Blockchain Mobile Shopping System), the company shares soar from $1.71 on 12.01.2018 to $3.03 on 16.01.2018. Additionally, the trading volume increased from $666,500 on 12.01.2018 to $46,088,600 on 16.01.2018.

Following SPI Energy announcement, that it has established a strategic partnership with Hoofoo Inc. (“Hoofoo”), the leading hack-proof cryptocurrency wallet for iOS and android phones, the company shares soar from $0.63 on 12.01.2018 to $1.04 on 16.01.2018. In addition, the trading volume increased from $178,400 on 12.01.2018 to $18,032,800 on 16.01.2018. On 18.01.2018 the trading volume and the stock price were still higher, compared with 12.01.2018 ($19,540,956 and $1.09, respectively).

Following NQ Mobile announcement (plans to integrate blockchain and AI capabilities into their CarBrain project for software-designed cars), the company shares soar from $3.98 on 09.01.2018 to $4.53, opening price on 10.01.2018. Moreover, the trading volume increased from $694,100 on 09.01.2018 to $8,425,200 on 10.01.2018.

We feel it is needed to ask the following questions:

Is the share price increase can be justified? Is it FOMO (fear of missing out)? Is it only hope that something good will come out of this new business model? Is it a bubble?

We can think about few good answers for those questions, but we think you already know the answer.

Please note, the stocks mentioned are volatile, and therefore may be very risky. You should consult with independent financial adviser, before making any investment decisions.

You should only use register financial adviser, if things goes wrong, he/she may have professional liability insurance, and you may be able to get back your money.

The difference between Iced Tea and Blockchain is 400%, is it crazy?

According to bitcoin.com, the beverage firm Long Island Iced Tea Corp rebranded to “Long Blockchain Corporation”, and its share price increase by more than 400%. The initial rebrand announcement revealed the company’s intentions to pivot its business model.

The latest business move shows LBC is planning to operate a mining facility located in the Nordic country.

Few days ago we reported about a similar story, UUBI Blockchain Internet Ltd, which is a startup company with no revenues, but it’s share value jumped about 1,000%.

In addition, you can read about LongFin Corp(LFIN), Digital Power Corp. (DPW), Riot Blockchain (RIOT), Seven Stars Cloud Group, Inc.(SCC), and Siebert Financial Corp. (SIEB) at wolfstreet.com. According to the post, those stocks soared due to blockchain-related activity. According to the post, those companies have minuscule or no revenues, though their combined market capitalization is many billions.

According to the below quote from wolfstreet.com article, we are in a very late stages of a bubble:

That these companies get away with this, that in fact speculators fall for this crap, that they’re stupid enough to bet what are in aggregate many billions of dollars in a matter of seconds after “blockchain” flashes across their screens, is a sign of just how far the global flood of liquidity has befuddled the minds of these speculators and turned them into knee-jerk betting automatons. This phenomenon happens only during the very late stages of a bubble.

The questions which have been raised are as follows:

Is the share price increase can be justified? Is it FOMO (fear of missing out)? Is it only hope that something good will come out of this new business model? Is it a bubble?

We can think about few good answers for those questions, but we think you already know the answer.

Please note, the stocks mentioned are volatile, and therefore may be very risky. You should consult with independent financial adviser, before making any investment decisions.

You should only use register financial adviser, if things goes wrong, he/she may have professional liability insurance, and you may be able to get back your money.