From a recently released enforcement report from the Texas State Securities Board states revealed that the regulator issued cease and desist orders against 16 unlicensed crypto ventures soliciting investors based in Texas during 2018.
One of the most noteworthy of those crypto ventures were Bitconnect, one of the biggest worldwide crypto Ponzi scheme that accumulated a market capitalization of $2.6 billion before the emergency action conducted by Texas effectively induced enormous divestment and caused Bitconnect to almost losing over 99% of its market capitalization.
BitConnnect is became known for being an offshore, multilevel marketing scam with its very own cryptocurrency which investors could obtain by sending out bitcoins.
Several Youtube influencers with hundreds of thousands of follower were used to promote this scam, some well-known names Included Trevon James.
Texas has warned the public that cryptocurrency investment scams are becoming much easier to conduct through anonymity while duping investors:
“Promoters of cryptocurrency-related offerings are taking advantage of the anonymity of the internet to attract victims, weaponizing social media to connect with investors in Texas. In 2018, Commissioner Travis J. Iles entered 16 administrative orders against promoters of suspect cryptocurrency investments who were using online advertisements, social media, and other solicitations to attract Texas investors.”
According to the recently released report, none of the 60 individuals and entities sanctioned by Texas in 2018 for offering illegal investments were registered to sell securities within the borders of Texas.
The Texas State Securities Board further states that an international crypto scam promoter living in Australia,
“…even found sales agents in the oil patch. According to a Nov. 6 emergency action taken against an Australian promoter of cryptocurrency mining contracts, the firm’s sales agents included members of the West Texas Oilfield Cloud Miners Club in Midland.”
At the current moment, Texas is offering cryptocurrency due diligence resources available at the Texas State Securities Board in their cryptocurrency resources page, which will be regularly updated with information regarding the current situation.