$100 Million Crypto Startup 'Liquidated' By Swiss Regulators, 'Illegal Activity' Confirmed

Envion, a Zug, Switzerland-based firm focused on developing “mobile blockchain mining” software, has been accused of “unlawfully receiving deposits” from approximately 37,000 investors.

According to a report published on March 27th, 2019 by SwissInfo.ch, Envion’s management “unlawfully accepted over CHF90 million ($90.5 million)” through its initial coin offering (ICO). The firm reportedly did not have the required “statutory license,” however it still took money from “more than 37,000 investors” - who purchased Envion’s EVN tokens. Payments to Envion were made in USD, Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin (BTC).

FINMA: Envion Did Not Have Banking License Yet Still Accepted “Public Deposits”

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Switzerland’s financial regulator, has determined that accepting the payments “qualified as public deposits” under the nation’s Banking Act. In order to accept such payments, the Act requires that Envion (or any other firm) hold a banking license.

In addition to not having a banking license, FINMA revealed that Envion’s management did not issue the company’s EVN tokens “under the same conditions to all investors.” Moreover, FINMA found that there was “no international audit unit” - which is a requirement under Switzerland’s financial laws.

Feeling “Totally Exonerated” As All Proceedings Seemingly Come To An End

As noted by local news outlets, Envion is “now in liquidation” and FINMA will “not be taking any further action.” Notably, the “details of the bankruptcy proceedings” have not been disclosed, however they are currently being overseen by Zug’s bankruptcy office.

In response to FINMA’s investigation, Matthias Woestmann, the former CEO at Envion, said that the financial regulator had “not identified any misappropriation of the assets entrusted to the company.” Woestmann added that he was relieved because it seems as if there may be no further charges against him or Envion’s board of directors.

Woestmann also felt “totally exonerated” as he believes it’s “the end of the proceedings” against him and the firm’s board members. The former CEO told reporters that he hopes the funds will be returned to the investors as soon as possible.

Alleged New York Fraudster Indicted By US Department Of Justice

In a seemingly more serious crime, a New York-based crypto scammer is facing 9 different charges as he has been accused of stealing almost $200,000 from unsuspecting investors. The 46-year-old Staten Island resident has been charged by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for “using smoke and mirrors to allegedly dupe investors into paying his company—CabbageTech, for advice and strategies on cryptocurrency trading.”

The defendant, named Patrick K. McDonnell, had allegedly been soliciting investments on Facebook and Twitter. However, the DoJ revealed in a press release (published on March 26th, 2019) that the “defendant reportedly stole the money for personal use.”

Grayscale Study: 43% of Investors Interested in Bitcoin are Women

  • A study published by crypto investment firm Grayscale shows 43% of investors interested in bitcoin are female.
  • Men and women hold similar perceptions on the potential and future of cryptoassets.

A new study by Grayscale suggests that the industry of bitcoin and crypto may not be as male-dominated as previously believed. 

According to a report published by the crypto investment firm Grayscale, 43% of investors interested in bitcoin are women. The study involved 1,100 U.S.-based participants between the ages of 25 and 64 currently active in personal investing with at least $10,000 in investible assets and a $50,000 household income. 

The survey found that women and men share “similar perceptions” on bitcoin, particularly in the investment age range of 25 - 54. While many of the qualities of bitcoin resonate with both men and women, the study found the two groups invest differently. 

According to the report "women are generally less optimistic about investments and more risk-averse.” Almost identical percentages of men and women (56.4% vs 56.2%) see significant growth opportunities in digital assets, with 49.8% of women and 49.9% of men commenting that bitcoin’s finite supply will drive demand price higher. 

Women also commented that more education on crypto-assets would lead to a greater interest, More women than men indicated that they lack familiarity with Bitcoin (76% vs. 52%) and significantly, an overwhelming majority of female investors (93%) indicated that they could be more open to the asset class if they had more educational resources available to them.

After finding 43 percent of those interested in bitcoin to be female, Grayscale concluded,

Bitcoin conversations tend to focus on a predominantly male investor audience, and yet data indicates women have a healthy interest in Bitcoin as well.

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