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, CryptoGainLimited.com, 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. RussHorn.com 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.”

ForexEquinox.com 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.

Roger Ver Shows Interest in Buying Satoshi Nakamoto's Original Bitcoin Website

Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver has shown interest in buying the Bitcoin.org website, which was originally registered by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and developer Martii Malmi.

As CryptoGlobe reported, on a GitHub post Cobra Bitcoin, the pseudonymous co-owner of Bitcoin.org, has announced he will be gradually reducing his involvement with the website and leave it “in trusted hands.”

In his original post Cobra noted he had some people in mind, but asked for individuals or organizations that could be a good fit to maintain the website, which is currently being used to onboard new users into the flagship cryptocurrency and ranks highly for the term “bitcoin” on search engines.

Cobra has been widely criticized in the cryptocurrency community proposing changes to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin whitepaper, and has seen mixed reactions to his announcement of reducing his involvement in the website. On Reddit, one user asked whether he would sell the website to Roger Ver.

Roger, taking advantage of the opportunity, responded via his MemoryDealers handle to say he has “cash in hand,” showing interest in acquiring the domain. Ver is well-known for running Bitcoin.com and campaign in favor of bigger blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain. In August 2017, he moved his support to Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Speaking to CoinTelegraph, Ver noted he would “gladly buy” the Bitcoin.org website, but does not expect Cobra to sell it to him. He added he hasn’t made any efforts outside of that comment to buy the domain. As to who would be best suited to take over Bitcoin.org, he said:

Maybe a Bitcoin Foundation-like organization that is made up of the businesses building on crypto. The [Electronic Frontier Foundation] EFF might not be bad either. Anyone who supports free expression of ideas would be better than the current group.

When asked what he would use the domain for, he said it would be used to promote “peer-to-peer electronic cash systems.” Ver asserted, however, he hasn’t put much thought into it as he doesn’t expect to be given a chance to buy the website.

Featured image via Bitcoin.org.