The Cryptocurrency Con: Cryptocurrency Companies Accused of Scamming Consumers


Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, shocked the nation as it lost almost 50% of its value on January 17, 2018. It fell below $10,000. And Ripple XRP lost $44 billion. These major losses come hot on the heels of regulatory agencies around the world looking to crackdown on the digital dollars. South Korea is looking to ban trading cryptocurrency. A director of a German bank believes that regulation of cryptocurrency can only happen with international cooperation. China banned initial coin offerings. The SEC recently filed a lawsuit against PlexCorps for defrauding investors.

Now? People are scared that cryptocurrency companies are scamming them.

Say Bye-Bye to BitConnect

On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, BitConnect announced that it was shutting down because “continuous bad press.” The anonymously ran platform was also the recipient of two cease and desist letters from the securities boards of Texas and North Carolina. Their announcement also cited numerous DDos attacks that they believe contributed to creating additional panic inside of the cryptocurrency community. Users of BitCoin will receive approximately $363.62 per BCC that they have in their “wallet.”

While it may sound like BitConnect was somehow forced out of business, it’s important to note that there were outstanding allegations that they were nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. New users would get a loan from BitConnect in the form of the cryptocurrency they issued called BCC. If they could convince other people to sign up, they would then receive a commission. Many people speculate that their shut-down was directly related to these allegations.

“BitConnect Customer Service Reps” Targeted Twitter

Sadly, many BitConnect customers have been contacted on Twitter by “customer service reps” who alleged that they worked with the now defunct platform. The kicker? Those accounts were created after BitConnect announced its shut down. These accounts approached nervous cryptocurrency owners and suggested that they send their BCC to a different digital wallet. These transactions are irreversible and almost impossible to trace. So, once the scammers had the money, they disappeared. And the customers were left with literally nothing.

Will We See More Cryptocurrency Platforms Disappear?

While everyone had high hopes for cryptocurrency, people are nervous at the quick drop in value and now with the sudden shut down of BitConnect. Will we see more cryptocurrency platforms disappear? If we base the answer on history, the answer is yes. Take Mt. Gox as an example. Founded in 2010, Mt. Gox collapsed in 2014. More than 20,000 people lost hundreds of millions of dollars. As of 2017, not a single one had received any of their lost money. And there’s a good chance that they won’t. The company filed for bankruptcy. Mark Karpelès was accused of embezzlement and data manipulation that included inflating his own account by millions.

The increase in countries looking to regulate cryptocurrency could help weed out the cryptocurrency cons like Mt. Gox and protect consumers.