New Zealand Issues Warning About Three Cryptocurrency-Related Scams

  • New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority has added three “suspected scams” to their Warnings & Alerts list.
  • Cryptogain, Russ Horn, and Zend Trade are the companies in question that the government wants citizens to stay away from.

Earlier today, New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) added three new companies to its list of “suspected scams.” The three companies are Zend Trade, Cryptogain, and Russ Horn (also known as Forex Equinox). These three companies have been added to the New Zealand FMA’s “Warnings & Alerts” list. This list is an ongoing effort by the New Zealand government to help investors avoid putting their money into the hands of questionable people.

The three companies were labeled as “Suspected Scams,” which means: “We think the operations of the business/person bear the hallmarks of a scam. We strongly recommend that you do not deal with them.” The full list of warnings & alerts can be found here.

CryptoGain appears to be a scam similar to BitConnect, promising daily returns for their investors. On their website,, they offer up to 2.6% daily returns for people who invest in their company. Additionally, they offer cloud mining packages (with 30% weekly returns) and a retirement plan (giving “30% profit after retirement”). Such sky-high returns will set off alarms for many investors, as well as their cloud mining offering, which is currently considered an unregistered security in the United States.

In addition, the FMA has identified that CryptoGain is possibly posing as a fake company. There is a company filed as CryptoGainLimited, but it is not related to the company described above. Therefore, the FMA believes this is likely not legitimate.

The other companies - Russ Horn, Forex Equinox, and Zend Trade - are all suspected to be organized under Russ Horn’s leadership. and ForexEquinox are not scams in the sense that they will take your money - they seem to simply be exaggerated marketing pitches for Russ’ forex trading system.

His website offers a “free plus shipping” book. Although not a scam in the sense of failed project BitConnect, Russ Horn’s website does include some outlandish claims, including “How To Legally Cheat The Forex Markets And Literally Line Your Pockets With Cash.” claims that his system can “double your money every 30 days.”

Ongoing Suspicions

Zend Trade has been suspected of being a scam after it was found that Zend is not returning clients funds. Unlike ForexEquinox, which teaches people how to trade, ZendTrade offers “Managed Account Services.” This service means that ZendTrade will hold clients' money and trade for them, which could put them under regulatory scrutiny, since this service sounds much more like a hedge fund. FMA claims that this company is connected to Russ Horn.

SBI Holdings Considering XRP Shareholder Benefit Program

Michael LaVere
  • Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings is considering issuing XRP as a dividend to shareholders.
  • Morningstar, a subsidiary of SBI, began offering XRP to clients earlier in the year. 

Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings is considering paying shareholder dividends in XRP. 

Earlier in the year MorningStar Japan, a subsidiary of SBI, began offering shareholders the option of receiving dividends in XRP. Now the Tokyo-based parent company is considering doing the same in an effort to boost adoption for cryptocurrency. 

According to a report by CoinTelegraph Japan, SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said the financial services group is open to the possibility of an XRP shareholder benefit program. Speaking at a meeting for shareholders on Dec. 2, Kitao said the program would begin during the fiscal year ending in March 2020, and would be an opt-in for clients willing to accept crypto dividends. 

Kitao revealed the number of applications for the SBI VC Trade digital currency exchange has increased following Morningstar’s decision to offer XRP benefits. 

SBI Holdings has a history of working with Ripple, the parent company behind XRP, including their joint venture SBI Ripple Asia in 2016 to promote the use of XRP. According to a financial report released in Oct. 2019, SBI highlighted the importance of Ripple’s technology for use in its remittance division. 

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