Haven (XHV) Stablecoin Reported As Exit Scam, Developer Responds to Claims

Rumors that Haven (XHV), a Monero-forked hybrid type of stablecoin, was an abandoned project and perhaps even an exit scam hit crypto social media yesterday (Jan 21), as the project’s non-critical team members publically decried the founder and sole developer’s lack of presence.

Haven was one of the most impressive gainers of late 2018, logging a nearly 8,500% increase in price agianst bitcoin between October 1 and November 13.

havenPrice.png(source: Coinmarketcap.com)

The (non-critical) Haven team member admissions that sparked concerns occured on the project’s Discord channel. Admin “news.cutter” complained that the project founder, “havendev,” had become unresponsive after requests to open the Github repository, to which he alone has access. News.cutter also complained that the developer fee - a portion of the reward for mining blocks - should be transparent. He vowed to leave, even if havendev were to return.

chat1.png(screengrab from Discord)

Another team member agreed with news.cutter but expressed his hope that the project could be forked and live on:

chat2.png(screengrab from Discord)

In the face of the kind of fear-uncertainty-and-doubt (FUD) common in the cryptoasset industry, havendev reappeared at the eleventh hour to assert that the project is not in fact a scam. He vowed to open up the code to the community, and said he had been working on it during his period of absence.

chat3.png(screengrab from Discord)

Clearly only time will tell what precisely the situation is. But whether or not the project is truly dead or a scam, it is clear to see on the project’s Github page that development activity has dropped off sharply of late.

commits.png(source: Github.com)

Haven - What is it?

Haven’s motto, according to its (extremely sparse) whitepaper, is “Untraceable transactions meets offshore banking.” It is essentially an algorithmically-backed stablecoin, perhaps similar to the Maker/DAI project. The whitepaper explains that “Users can mint and burn Haven [XHV] for the equivalent USD value worth of Haven Dollars [XHVD].”

The goal of this scheme, the paper states, is to put “a Swiss bank account in your back pocket.”

This is not the first time that doubts have plagued the Haven project. Last year, Haven was somewhat infamously associated with a series of leaked messages exhibiting an alleged pump-and-dump scheme, in which crypto influencers used social media to direct followers’ interests to certain coins that they had already invested in.

CryptoGlobe reported last year that this particular group was reported to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Securities and Exchange Commission by the leaker.

U.K.'s Authorities to Launch Crackdown on Illicit Activities Involving Cryptoassets

The British government has drafted a new Economic Crime Plan which outlines strategies that may be used to prevent financial crimes - including those involving cryptoassets.

Prepared by U.K.’s Home Office and the nation’s H.M. Treasury (responsible for implementing public finance and economic policy), the financial crime prevention plan proposes several changes to how the European nation’s authorities might respond to illicit financial activities.

The Economic Crime Plan recommends that the British government’s law enforcement agencies and private institutions work closely with the government to combat illegal financial activities.

Tackling “Fraud, Money Laundering, Bribery, Corruption”

According to Coindesk, the crime prevention action plan has been approved by Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sajid Javid, U.K’s Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Law enforcement agencies, large financial institutions, and prominent legal, accountancy and property firms have also reviewed the financial crime plan. As mentioned in the crime prevention document, the plan aims to “tackle fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption.”

Major Financial Institutions Provide Funding to Combat Financial Crimes

Illicit financial activity will be investigated by local police officials and by authorities in other countries, the economic crime plan noted. Major financial institutions including Santander UK, RBS, Nationwide, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC UK have contributed around £6.5 million to help fund the financial crime prevention effort. The funds will reportedly be used to make reforms to the Suspicious Activity Reporting regime.

As noted in the announcement:

All parties will work together on longer term funding for developing richer intelligence and improving operational effectiveness in the fight against dirty money.

The notice also mentioned that law enforcement officials will be monitoring cryptocurrency transactions, in order to track the potential use of digital currencies in money laundering, drug trafficking, or other types of illicit activity.

“Most Comprehensive Global Response” to Illicit Activity Involving Cryptoassets

Additionally, a cryptoassets investigation unit will be established, in order to work alongside U.K’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). According to the financial crime prevention plan, U.K.’s authorities will be “going beyond international standards to create one of the most comprehensive global responses to the use of cryptoassets in illicit activity.”

In addition, an Asset Recovery Action Plan will be launched to help recover funds lost due to crime. As mentioned in the announcement, approximately £1.6 billion has been recovered from various criminal organizations between 2010 and 2018.

In response the crackdown on financial crimes, Chancellor Hammond remarked:

The UK has one of the toughest systems for combating money laundering, but too many people are still falling victim to fraud. This crime fuels everything from drug dealing to modern slavery, fundamentally undermining people’s faith in our financial system and impacting economic growth.

He added: 

By bringing together leaders from across government, law enforcement and business, we can better tackle the scourge of dirty money, and ensure the UK continues to be one of the safest places in the world to invest and do business.