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A fire at a Chinese-owned auto parts plant in Michigan has cut off supply of key components and disrupted production of crucial Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG models, with the U.S. automaker already saying it’ll hurt profit in the second quarter.
Ford is shutting down F-150 truck production at its…
A U.S. state has issued a cease and desist order to a company purportedly engaged in cryptocurrency mining. This order follows a temporary cease and desist order to the company two months ago which it did not respond to.
Cease and Desist Order
The U.S. State of North Carolina issued a cease and desist order to Power Mining Pool (PMP) last week. After some investigation, the state’s Securities Division declared:
The Securities Division found that PMP is violating the Securities Act by: a. offering unregistered securities in the form of ‘mining pool shares;’ b. offering securities while it is not registered to do so; and c. making material misstatements when offering securities.
The order mandates the company and any person, employee, officer, director, entity, or independent contractor under its direction or control to permanently cease and desist from selling securities in the state until the security is registered or exempt.
They also must not act as a securities dealer, salesman, or agent unless registered with the state. Furthermore, they must not engage in fraud in connection with the offer or sale of any security, or violate other provisions and rules of the state.
This order follows a temporary cease and desist order issued by the same division on March 2. However, the company has neither responded to the order nor requested a hearing. Instead, its website, which is its principal place of business, went offline on March 6, the order revealed.
The State of North Carolina described PMP as an online business that is unregistered in any jurisdiction, without a physical place of business and “The individuals who managed PMP are not identified.”
The company represents that it owns and operates mining rigs capable of mining seven different cryptocurrencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also represents that these rigs track the profitability of each of the seven cryptos and automatically “switch resources away from less profitable coins.”
PMP also offers mining pool shares to investors to mine on their behalf. “Investors who purchase mining pool shares must first purchase bitcoin with their fiat currency, such as the U.S. Dollar or Euro,” the order detailed. “Next, PMP directs investors to deposit their bitcoin into PMP’s bitcoin wallet in order to set up an account on the PMP website.” The company then claims to mine cryptocurrencies on investors’ behalf and purported to pay investors the fiat value of the coins mined.
Investors can also “trade the mined coins for bitcoin.” PMP claims that it will pay the investors “on any profits we make in the trading pool” every three hours.
The Secretary of State of North Carolina wrote:
The mining pool shares are securities and are not registered with the Administrator…PMP willfully fails to disclose material facts when offering the mining pool shares.
What do you think of North Carolina shutting down Power Mining Pool? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Prosecutors in Meek Mill’s case want his original drug conviction to be vacated, which would mean immediate freedom for the rapper — but, once again, the judge is refusing to bend. Philly’s D.A. Office made a rare move Monday morning in court ……
Russia will expel 60 US diplomats and close the US Consulate in St. Petersburg, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday, in retaliation for a similar move by Washington.
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A U.S. federal court has placed a restraining order on and frozen the assets of four alleged promoters of deceptive schemes involving cryptocurrencies at the request of the country’s Federal Trade Commission.
US Court’s Order
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on Friday that a federal court has shut down “promoters of deceptive cryptocurrency schemes” at its request. The FTC is an independent agency of the U.S. government. Its goal is to promote consumer protection and prevent anti-competitive business practices.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has “halted the activities of four individuals who allegedly promoted deceptive money-making schemes involving cryptocurrencies,” the agency wrote, adding that:
These schemes falsely promised that participants could earn large returns by paying cryptocurrency such as bitcoin or litecoin to enroll in the schemes.
Furthermore, the federal court has “issued a temporary restraining order and frozen the defendants’ assets pending trial,” also at the FTC’s request.
According to the agency’s complaint filed with the court, the defendants violated “the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts by misrepresenting the chain referral schemes as bona fide money-making opportunities and by falsely claiming that participants could earn substantial income by participating in the three schemes.”
Bitcoin Funding Team and My7network
Three of the four defendants allegedly “promoted chain referral schemes known as Bitcoin Funding Team and My7network,” the FTC detailed. Thomas Dluca, Louis Gatto, and Eric Pinkston allegedly used websites, Youtube videos, social media and conference calls to promise “big rewards for a small payment of bitcoin or litecoin,” the agency noted, adding:
The defendants claimed that Bitcoin Funding Team could turn a payment of the equivalent of just over $ 100 into $ 80,000 in monthly income.
However, the FTC asserted that this setup would benefit only a few participants while the majority of them would fail to even recoup their initial investments. Furthermore, the two schemes’ participants “could only generate revenue by recruiting new participants and convincing them to also pay cryptocurrency.”
In Bitcoin Funding Team, participants must pay an initial bitcoin payment to an earlier participant and a fee to the scheme to be eligible to recruit new member and receive payments from them. In addition, “Promoters claimed participants could earn bigger rewards if they paid additional bitcoins,” the FTC described. Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Tom Pahl, commented:
This case shows that scammers always find new ways to market old schemes, which is why the FTC will remain vigilant regardless of the platform – or currency used…The schemes the defendants promoted were designed to enrich those at the top at the expense of everyone else.
The fourth defendant, Scott Chandler, promoted Bitcoin Funding Team “and another deceptive cryptocurrency scheme, Jetcoin,” the FTC alleged. This scheme “promised investors a fixed rate of return on their initial bitcoin investments as a result of bitcoin trading” in addition to a recruitment scheme, the FTC described, adding:
In a series of promotional calls, Chandler claimed Jetcoin participants could double their investment in 50 days. In reality, the FTC complaint alleges, the scheme failed to deliver on these claims and ceased operation within two months of launching.
What do you think of the federal court shutting down promoters of deceptive schemes involving cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the FTC.
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The post US Court Shuts Down Promoters of Three Deceptive Crypto Schemes appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Another major Thai bank is reportedly terminating transactions involving cryptocurrencies through the bank accounts of a local crypto exchange. This decision follows a similar move by another major Thai bank, Bangkok Bank, to terminate the same exchange’s bank accounts.
Second Bank Closes Account of Crypto Exchange
A major Thai financial institution, the state-owned Krungthai Bank, has “shut down crypto trade accounts,” the Bangkok Post reported on Monday. The bank has become the second in Thailand “to terminate transactions involving cryptocurrencies trading with Thai Digital Asset Exchange (TDAX),” a local cryptocurrency exchange.
The first bank was Bangkok Bank, which decided to terminate TDAX’s accounts with the bank last week. Earlier this month, Thailand’s central bank issued a circular, asking financial institutions to refrain from getting involved in five cryptocurrency activities.
Mr. Somchai Sujjapongse, the permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry and chairman of Krungthai Bank, ordered his bank on Monday “to halt any transactions related to cryptocurrencies with TDAX through the bank’s accounts,” the news outlet elaborated, adding that:
The move followed a Bank of Thailand request that financial institutions cooperate by refraining from making or being involved in cryptocurrency transactions, as the regulatory framework supervising digital currencies remains unclear.
Another Crypto Exchange Affected
TDAX is a privately-owned Thai cryptocurrency exchange. According to the publication, the exchange still has bank accounts with two other financial institutions: Kasikornbank (Kbank) and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB). Last week, Kbank confirmed that it was still providing service to TDAX.
According to the Bangkok Post, a source from another major domestic cryptocurrency exchange, Bx.in.th (BX), revealed that “Bangkok Bank has already terminated the exchange’s account, but did not reveal whether the termination occurred on the same day as TDAX’s termination.” Yuthavithi Rootwararit, founder and CEO of Crypto Trading Co Ltd, said, “BX’s trading volume and value are more than ten times larger than those of TDAX.”
TDAX is also preparing to launch some initial coin offerings (ICOs). However, the regulatory uncertainty has prompted the exchange to announce that its ICO plans are now postponed.
The exchange recently completed an ICO for Jfin coin by J Ventures, a subsidiary of Jay Mart Plc which is listed on the Thai stock exchange. 100 million tokens were sold at the price of 6.60 baht per token. “Jfin coin will not be affected [by TDAX’s ICO decision], as this ICO was fully subscribed to on Feb 16, while the first trading day will be held on April 2,” Mr. Poramin Insom, TDAX’s CEO and founder, was quoted by the news outlet. He added:
Although there are five or six ICOs in the pipeline, the exchange has decided to impose a two-week postponement because market participants expect the SEC to unveil its ICO regulatory framework soon…We are waiting for the ICO regulations from the [Thai] SEC.
The Thai government is in the process of establishing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, which is expected “on March 8, followed by a fintech bill,” the Bangkok Post wrote. A source told the news outlet that the “ICO regulations are focused on supervising online exchanges, which will have to register themselves with the SEC.”
Do you think all banks in Thailand will follow suit? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Krungthai Bank.
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The post Another Thai Bank Shuts Down Accounts of Local Crypto Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News.
“Not for me.” Three words buried in an InStyle interview, but enough to quash the overwhelming buzz about a possible presidential run by Oprah Winfrey in 2020—at least for now. Winfrey, who appears on InStyle’s March cover, spoke to the magazine three weeks before her Golden Globes speech fueled…
The looming government shutdown has had one tangible effect so far: President Trump has put plans for a trip to his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort on hold, reports NBC News . “The President will not be going to Florida until the CR passes,” the White House said, referring to a continuing resolution…
In a move that will surprise few observers, Bitconnect has announced that it is closing its lending and exchange platform. The company has widely been accused of operating a Ponzi scheme and was recently rocked by cease and desist notices in two US states. Immediately after the firm declared its intention to wind things up, its BCC coin plummeted from $ 290 to under $ 10 before recovering slightly. With the exchange offline, many holders have been left locked out and powerless to sell their heavily deprecated assets.
Bitconnect Bids Bye Bye
Pressure has been mounting on Bitconnect for months, with leading figures within the crypto community, from Vitalik Buterin to Jameson Lopp, speculating that the exchange was not all it was cracked up to be. News.Bitcoin.com reported on these rumors back in November before revealing, less than a fortnight ago, that the company had been slapped with an emergency cease and desist order in Texas. Among many red flags to have set alarm bells ringing were Bitconnect’s extremely odd marketing videos, described by one commenter as being “like scientology merged with hillsong infused with dorks and used car salesmen”.
In an update posted on the Bitconnect website, the company said it was halting its lending and exchange service due to the spate of cease and desist notices coupled with “bad press” and a string of DDoS attacks. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing DDoS attacks, the blog post can’t be accessed at this time. The “bad press” that Bitconnect cites, otherwise known as accurate reporting, has been invaluable in helping guide crypto newcomers away from the platform.
A Secret Blend of Herbs and Spices
The exact workings of Bitconnect’s secret sauce that purportedly makes its investors generous returns has never been disclosed, but the general consensus is that the whole operation is little more than a pyramid scheme. It is almost certain that Bitconnect’s “intelligent trading bot” which makes profitable trades and then shares those dividends with the community, does not exist.
It is not clear whether the news of Bitconnect’s lending service shutdown heralds the end of the company altogether, although it is hard to imagine it being able to limp on in any shape or form after shuttering its main hub. DDoS attacks are a tactic that a number of deep web marketplaces have used to sow confusion ahead of an exit scam. It is impossible to ascertain the origins of the distributed denial of service the site is under, though it it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the attack may have originated from close to home.
Bitconnect Token Falls Through the Floor
Historically, Bitconnect’s BCC token has been remarkably stable, maintaining steady growth in a pattern not dissimilar from that of bitcoin. But as news.Bitcoin.com noted back in November:
With most of the BCC in existence locked in the company’s exchange, if its founders were to perform an exit scam or wind up behind bars, millions of dollars of bitcoin would instantly be locked up and BCC would be rendered worthless.
That prophecy has now come to pass. Coinmarketcap reports zero trade volume on the Bitconnect platform in the last 60 hours, leaving its token still listed at $ 290 there. On other platforms though, such as Coinexchange, which recorded 24-hour BCC trade volume of $ 1.26 million, the token dropped to $ 8 before recovering to around $ 25 at the time of publication. Coinmarketcap, the web’s go-to cryptocurrency checker, has previously come in for criticism for hosting ads promoting Bitconnect. Coincodex, in comparison, has elected to post a notice alongside BCC warning investors away. Its CEO Marko Stokelj previously told news.Bitcoin.com:
Bitconnect employs a number of dubious methods in order to operate and promote its business. The business model outlined by the company is economically unsustainable with the current level of returns unable to be validated by any legally known investment system.
While some observers in the crypto community may feel a touch of schadenfreude at Bitconnect’s demise, it is worth being mindful of the many victims who will have suffered heavy losses. Thanks to its marketing strategy, including use of referral schemes, Bitconnect preyed on newbs who lacked the necessary understanding to differentiate legitimate cryptocurrencies from get rich quick schemes.
If the news emanating from Bitconnect’s 404’d website does prove to be terminal – and it’s hard to imagine the company coming back from this – there will at least be some good to come out of this story. A number of similar sites with names such as Ethconnect have appeared in recent months, each with the same opaque business model. The fall of Bitconnect will hopefully serve as a warning to other crypto startups not to go down the same route. For Bitconnect bag-holders, though, this cautionary tale will provide little consolation.
Do you think today’s news spells the end for Bitconnect? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coincodex and Coinmarketcap.
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The post Bitconnect Shuts Down Its Exchange Citing a String of Excuses appeared first on Bitcoin News.