Like most scams, it will be years before Bitconnect’s operators have felt the full weight of their actions. However, the US government wants victims to help bring the $2.5 billion crypto Ponzi scheme to justice.
The FBI is looking to talk to people victimized by the Bitconnect scheme. It is publicly taking applications and information via its website. The agency will contact those it deems interesting enough to help with the investigation.
The FBI writes:
“By mid-December 2017, BCC boasted a market cap of over $2.5 billion. Bitconnect guaranteed investors up to a 10 percent total return per month on their investment, following a tiered-investment system based on the sum of an investor’s initial deposit.”
“The entire market for BCC crashed in late January 2018, after two U.S. state-level securities regulators issued public letters warning investors of the Ponzi-type nature of Bitconnect. This led to Bitconnect completely shutting down its exchange for BCC, eliminating the market for the cryptocurrency and stranding investors with near-worthless cryptocurrency.”
Texas issued a cease and desist order to Bitconnect shortly before the company decided the gig was up. India and Australia have already arrested representatives who promoted the fraudulent operation. The global scheme had dozens of promoters, including Bitcoin YouTuber Trevon James.
Perhaps the most interesting case surrounding Bitconnect is that of Australian John Biggaton. Bigatton’s wife went missing shortly before his arrest. She happens to be the sole proprietor of one of the outfits Bigatton used to shuffle his assets around in anticipation of their freezing.
Formerly a fiat world financial advisor, Bigatton became one of the most influential promoters of the Bitconnect Ponzi scheme. Some aspects of the scheme guaranteed returns of 10% or more to “investors” (victims).
Bitconnect is facing multiple lawsuits in the US, irrespective of criminal investigations ongoing. A US court issued an order to freeze the scam’s assets last month.
In the wake of its collapse, community members seem to be attempting a revival. We’ve seen this before in the Paycoin scandal. Following the ultimate collapse of GAW Miners’ Ponzi scheme, some Paycoin community members continued efforts to develop and revive the token. Their efforts were unsuccessful.
Interestingly, an account called @Bitconnect_Coin tweeted as recently as yesterday:
Additionally, an active Discord channel surrounding Bitconnect is still active. It seems there is an effort within the victimized community to revive the coin as a community effort. A user on Discord mentioned that “CoinPaprika” had shown the coin as “active.” We looked into this and found this on the CoinPaprika listing for BCC:
“Bitconnect is being taken over by ‘community,’ and conduct rebranding.”
While the FBI is looking for victims of the Bitconnect scheme, we are looking for people interested in reviving the coin in a “community effort.”
If you or someone you know is involved in this venture, please write the CCN.com’s head of crypto via paul.madore@CCN.com.
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Last modified: May 20, 2020 12:10 AM UTC