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Philippines SEC issues warning vs Leefire digital asset pyramid scheme

The Philippines securities watchdog has issued a warning against a digital currency company that’s luring investors with promises of lucrative returns from its ICO token. Leefire Philippines isn’t authorized to operate in the country, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated in its warning while reminding the public to beware of companies whose promises sound too good to be true.

Leefire is offering investments to the public through its website or a mobile application found on Google Play Store, the SEC said. By signing up, investors supposedly receive a cash bonus of PHP120 ($2.3), which they can use to purchase goods on the platform. Users can earn more commissions and rewards by interacting with the platform more.

In a pyramid scheme-like fashion, the platform urges users to onboard their friends, for which they receive an extra $2.3 for each new signup under them. Additionally, the users are ranked in levels, with the first going for $2.3 while the highest, level 8, goes for $6,880.

The SEC states that the platform is selling LFC tokens on its ICO, although users can also earn these tokens by completing various tasks on Leefire’s platform. To withdraw their earnings, the user must invite friends to top up any amount, unlocking their withdrawable profits, according to the regulator. The company says that LFC will list and start trading on mainstream digital asset exchanges before June 30 this year. 

Part of the marketing materials adds, “LFC can be exchanged for pesos at a ratio of 1:1.1 before launch on the exchange to fully realize full circulation, and it is estimated that it can be exchanged for pesos at a ratio of 1:10 or higher after launch.”

“The public is advised not to invest or stop investing in any investment scheme being offered by any individual or group of persons allegedly for or on behalf of Leefire Philippines, and to exercise caution in dealing with any individuals or group of persons soliciting investments for and on behalf of it,” the SEC warned.

It further cautioned any salesmen, brokers, or dealers involved in marketing the company, saying they face a maximum fine of PHP5 million ($96,000) or up to 21 years behind bars.

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