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.

Senate Banking Hearing on Facebook’s Libra; 0.25% of Algorand Tokens Sell for $60 Million

The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • The Senate Banking Committee books hearing on Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency.
  • Bitcoin developers to get 50 bitcoin (BTC) in funding.
  • 0.25% of Algorand's ALGO tokens sell for $60 million.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $9,294.1 (+1.5%) and $269.5 (+0.6%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,314.6 (-0.2%).

 

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Senate Banking Committee Books Hearing on Facebook

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee announced it will hold a hearing on July 16 in order to question witnesses over Facebook’s new cryptocurrency and blockchain project, Libra. As of press time, it has not yet been publicly disclosed which individuals will testify before the Committee.

The hearing – entitled ‘Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations’ – was scheduled just days after the social media giant officially revealed its plans regarding Libra and its new Calibra subsidiary.

Fund to Support Bitcoin Developers with 50 BTC

Primitive Ventures’ Dovey Wan has gathered 50 BTC – roughly $450,000 – on behalf of non-profit organization Hard Core Fund in an effort to sustainably fund Bitcoin developers.

When discussing why she decided to pursue the initiative, Wan told CoinDesk, “right now, you wouldn’t believe it, there are less than 10 full-time bitcoin developers... We want to fund full-time independent bitcoin developers.”

Established in 2018, the Hard Core Fund is managed by Pan Zhibiao, a former Bitmain employee. Wan – who serves as the executive director for the fund – is the only other team member listed on its website.

0.25% of Algorand’s ALGO Tokens Sell for $60 Million

Algorand – a scalable, secure and decentralized digital currency and transactions platform – closed its first Dutch auction with a clearing price of $2.40 per Algo (ALGO) token, the native token of the Algorand blockchain platform.

The auction was administered by the Algorand Foundation, which, in a blog post on Wednesday, said that it now stands as “the first organization to conduct a fully transparent global auction on its own blockchain.”

In total, a paltry 0.25 percent of ALGO’s total supply was sold to successful bidders for $60.4 million. Notably, the Algorand Foundation will – in exactly one year’s time – offer redemptions on tokens at 90 percent of the $2.40 clearing price.

The completion of the inaugural ALGO auction signalled the mainnet launch of the Algorand, also. It was first unveiled by MIT professor and Turing Award winner, Silvio Micali, in early 2017.