Cryptocurrency web wallet provider Blockchain has filed a complaint in a U.S. federal court alleging attempted deception by a copycat website.
In a blogpost, Blockchain — whose website is hosted at blockchain.com — identifies the platform, blockchain.io, as a deliberate impostor that is attempting to rebrand itself in order to continue in its usual insincere practices from years back.
Deliberate Attempt to Mislead
Blockchain’s major concern over this development as reported includes the fact that the establishment is confusing customers and misleading them into thinking that they are “Blockchain”. This concern arises from the brand similarities which are thought to be designed deliberately.
- Similar domain name to website (blockchain.io)
- Similar colors to website (shades of dark blue)
- Similar logo (a cube instead of a square) made up of similar geometric shapes (circles instead of rounded boxes).
- Repurposed tagline “connecting the world to crypto” through a thesaurus to come up with “your gateway to the internet of value.”
A Familiar Character
According to Blockchain, the supposed new establishment is actually an old platform with the original name Paymium, also known as “Instawallet”, which in 2013 lost its users’ funds in a widely-publicized hack.
Blockchain claims from its findings that one of the major reasons for Paymium’s rebranding tends towards its attempt to launch an initial coin offering (ICO). Having damaged its own reputation due to the way it handled the 2013 hack case, aggrieved customers may take it up with them upon resurfacing. Hence the reappearance under a new name entirely, albeit in a suspicious manner.
The Bane of Anonymity
The relative anonymity that exists within the blockchain ecosystem has been blamed for most of the scams and fraudulent practices that have befallen a lot of participants. Most often, victims are left to mourn their loses without any hope or respite. This is one of the key issues that is assumed to be delaying the regulatory framework within most regions and by extension, also delaying mainstream adoption.
In the time being, the framework laid out by SEC is going a long way in protecting investors from fraudulent performers in the ICO space. This is one of the reasons why Blockchain is calling out Paymium and exposing what they claim to be another attempt to scam and defraud the unsuspecting public. Blockchain notes that there is no registration statement in existence for the exercise as claimed by Paymium, this means that it does not only fail to fulfill the requirements by SEC but is also lying about it.
Blockchain claims that, by embarking on a litigation procedure, it does not only intend to protect its brand but also protect its customers and the general public from investing into the promise of a technology that in the actual sense does not exist at all.
Update 9/24: Paymium CEO and co-founder Pierre Noizat provided CCN with the following statement:
“Paymium, successfully operating a BTC/EUR crypto-fiat exchange since 2013 and serving 170,000 customers, is currently closing its private ICO to accelerate the rollout of Blockchain.io. The public sale for this new cryptocurrency exchange will start September 27. The domain name Blockchain.io was registered by Paymium way back in April 2012, and the Blockchain.io project launch was publicly advertised in the press months ago. 3 days before the beginning of the sale and a few weeks away from the official release of our platform, it is no surprise to us to be challenged by some potential competitors, for obvious reasons. We condemn this approach that doesn’t comply with the crypto-community values.
Moreover, Blockchain.io disputes the accusation of making false and misleading statements. What is at stake is the protection of our name, our reputation, and our loyal investors and customers. For these reasons, our lawyers will answer point by point the claims made.
As for our ICO, we already provided early investors with the alpha version of our platform which is ready to be launched just after the public sale in November. The name blockchain.io is the legal property of Paymium and the public sale will start as planned on September 27.”
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