The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned investors to beware of an alleged digital currency fraud dubbed “The Billion Coin,” the latest scheme targeting unsuspecting digital currency investors.
For the third time in a month, the regulator published an advisory notice stating The Billion Coin was unauthorized, and likely a form of pyramid scheme with promises of significant returns on investment in a matter of days.
In its criticism of the scheme, the SEC said The Billion Coin has “its own parameter in generating the value of its TBCoin…that if TBC gathered one billion investors, each TBCoin will be worth one billion euros correspondingly.”
With reference to securities law in the Philippines, the regulator stated The Billion Coin could constitute a regulated security: “Some virtual currencies, based on the facts and circumstances surrounding their issuance, follow the nature of a security as defined by Section 3.1 of the Securities Regulation Code.”
The Billion Coin scheme is based on the idea that it is an “abundance coin,” with value driven by the total number of tokens bought. Marketed as a decentralized currency, The Billion Coin “aims to revolutionize the global financial system in order to eradicate world poverty.”
According to the SEC, neither the company behind The Billion Coin nor its founder were registered to offer or promote securities. Sanctions for those found to be in breach of securities laws included fines up to a maximum penalty of 21 years imprisonment.
Digital currency exchanges in the Philippines are required to be licensed with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank. The SEC has regulatory remit in securities, with jurisdiction which applies to certain types of digital assets and token issuances.
Investors were cautioned about investing with the firm, as well as being warned of the consequences of promoting the offering themselves, which could see investors held personally liable for breaches of securities laws.
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