Philippine SEC warns of Ponzi of “cloud mining” related to Bitcoin Vault


The Philippine SEC has released an official warning about Bitcoin (BTC) Mining City’s “cloud mining” company, advising the public to avoid the scheme and others like it. Despite official condemnation, the price of a related cryptocurrency is on the rise.

The notice describes the company as an unlicensed entity in the country and states that it was not operating “in accordance with the guidelines for virtual currency exchanges,” stating:

“The aforementioned scheme used by Mining City clearly shows an indication of a possible Ponzi scheme in which new investor money is used to pay ‘fake profits’ to those who invested first.”

The notice also identified Mining City CEO Gregory Rogowski, team leader Anthony Aguilar and Facebook page administrator Jhon Rey Gray as key personnel involved in the scheme, who will also be reported to the Internal Revenue Office for investigations into their tax assessments.

The scheme offers cloud mining packages in the form of three-year contracts where hash power is leased to investors worth between $ 300 and $ 12,600 and claims to provide daily returns of up to $ 92 per day. Mining City works in partnership with MineBest with investors who receive their profits in the form of BTCV tokens.

The regulator told the public “not to invest or stop investing in plans offered by Mining City or by entities that engage in smart contracts, cryptocurrencies or digital asset exchanges that are not registered with the commission,” adding that promoters may be criminally prosecuted with fines over $ 100,000 or up to 21 years’ imprisonment.

In the two weeks leading up to this warning, BTCV’s price plunged 76% from $ 425 on August 23 to $ 100 on September 10. It has since risen to $ 163, suggesting the warning may not have been effective in dissuading public interest in the scheme. On the Mining City website, it states that the program will continue to run even if its website is closed for any reason, implying that it is immune to government intervention due to its decentralized nature.

The Philippine SEC had previously reported the infamous Ethereum gas gazzler “Forsage” as a Ponzi scheme in July; however, it was stronger than ever in August boasting an expanded user base of 390,000 users and a daily revenue of over $ 3 million. Forsage currently has over 1,900 daily active users on Ethereum (ETH) and 800 active users on Tron (TRX), according to DappStats.

September 22, 2020: This article has been updated to remove a reference to MineBest, which has been misidentified as the company behind Bitcoin Vault. In fact, both companies share a founder, Eyal Avramovich.

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