Amid a cryptocurrency price correction that has seen the price of Bitcoin drop by half from its mid-December peak, UK-based cyber-cash lending and exchange biz BitConnect said it is shutting down.
The firm, dogged by accusations that it is a Ponzi scheme, cited bad press, regulatory orders, and cyber attacks for its market exit this week.
BitConnect said it has received two cease-and-desist letters from US financial watchdogs: one from the Texas State Securities Board, and one from the Securities Division of North Carolina’s Secretary of State.
The letter from Texas authorities, an emergency cease-and-desist order sent January 3, 2018, charges the company with fraud and misleading investors.
The letter from North Carolina authorities observes that BitConnect’s purported rate of return amounts to about 3,000 per cent annually.
Noting that such rates “are extremely unusual in financial markets,” the North Carolina letter stated: “Guaranteed annual compounded investment returns of over 3,000 per cent are a known ‘red-flag’ for fraud, specifically for the risk that the investment may be a ‘Ponzi scheme.'”