Blockchain.com, a cryptocurrency wallet provider and popular block explorer, has alleged in a complaint filed in US federal court that a company called blockchain.io is “confusing consumers into thinking they are Blockchain.” In a detailed blog post published on September 20th, Blockchain.com has accused blockchain.io of intentionally using a “similar domain name”, “similar logo” and “similar colors.”
Blockchain.io, a company suspected of being run by the now defunct crypto firm “Paymium”, has also been accused by blockchain.com of “repurposing” the digital asset wallet provider’s tagline: “connecting the world to crypto.”
Blockchain.com’s blog post alleges that blockchain.io has “repurposed” their tagline by using a thesaurus “to come up with”: “your gateway to the internet of value.”
Because of these similarities, blockchain.com has reportedly been contacted by people who have visited blockchain.io. The crypto wallet provider has said they have been asked if they’re getting ready to do an initial coin offering (ICO) - presumably because customers might be thinking blockchain.io may be a startup that blockchain.com is planning to launch.
Blockchain.com has stated in its blog post that it is not looking to raise funds at this time through an ICO, nor any other type of public offering. Commenting further on the confusion that has been created, blockchain.com noted that it has “inspected” blockchain.io’s social media accounts and found that “many people had assumed blockchain.io was Blockchain.”
In addition to alleging that blockchain.io has purposely created brand confusion, blockchain.com has warned that Paymium used to offer a crypto wallet service called “InstaWallet”, which was reportedly hacked in 2013. According to several threads posted on bitcointalk.org, Paymium closed its claims process soon after claiming they were hacked.
This left “many of its users with substantial financial losses” and “fueled concerns that the company had run away with people’s money”, Blockchain wrote in its blog post. The crypto wallet provider also claims that “in an attempt to hide this from its users, Paymium just rebranded to blockchain.io”
Blockchain.io also has the same CEO (Pierre Noizat) as Paymium and Blockchain has warned that Paymium is set to launch an ICO - which has raised “serious concerns about how they are representing their offer.”
Blockchain further alleges that blockchain.io is “claiming to raise money to offer some technologies that don’t actually exist.” The company has also claimed that its ICO has been registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), however, there’s “no registration statement in place for the offering”, according to Blockchain.
The cryptocurrency wallet service explains that because Paymium’s ICO is not registered with the SEC, its users will not “be able to trade the token publicly as Paymium led them to believe.”
Responding to the allegations in a statement, Blockchain.io said:
“Paymium, that has been successfully operating a BTC/EUR exchange since 2013 and serving 170,000 customers, is currently closing its private ICO to accelerate the rollout of Blockchain.io. The public sale for this complementary cryptocurrency exchange service will start on September 27.
The domain name Blockchain.io was registered by Paymium way back in April 2012 (https://www.whois.com/whois/blockchain.io), and the Blockchain.io project launch was publicly advertised in the press months ago. 3 days before the beginning of the sale, and a few weeks away from the official release of our platform, it thus comes as no surprise that we are challenged by some potential competitors, for obvious reasons. We condemn this approach that surely doesn’t comply with the crypto-community values.
Moreover, Blockchain.io disputes the accusation of making false and misleading statements. What is at stake is, at first, the protection of our name, our reputation, and our loyal investors and customers. For these reasons, our lawyers will answer point by point the claims that have been made.
As for our ICO, we already provided early investors with the alpha version of our platform that is ready to be launched right after the public sale in November. The name blockchain.io is the legal property of Paymium and the public sale will start as planned on September 27.”