The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently issued an advisory (as seen below) on BITCOIN DIGITAL, warning the public of the individuals and groups involved in such activities. The advisory defines the activities behind the scheme, and advises the public to not to invest or stop investing in any investment scheme offered by the said entity, its representatives or any entities engaged in schemes which promises ridiculous rates of return with little or no risks.
In support of this view, Coins.ph does not endorse or is affiliated in any way with such activities or products. Moreover, we have a zero tolerance policy on fraudulent activities and potentially scamming practices. In a separate article, we have enumerated tips on how you can avoid investment schemes and other online scams. We urge our customers to be extra diligent with their funds and to act within our User Agreement.
Based on information gathered by the Commission, the entity operating under the name “BITCOIN DIGITAL” utilizing the domain “www.bitcoindigital.com” is soliciting investments in the Philippines WITHOUT THE NECESSARY LICENSE AND/OR AUTHORITY from the Commission. To wit:
Similar to BITCOIN REVOLUTION and IMMEDIATE EDGE which are subjects of our previous SEC Advisories, BITCOIN DIGITAL is also an unregulated entity with unknown operators and is using FABRICATED or FAKE celebrity endorsements online including Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III in promoting its scheme. To show:
BITCOIN DIGITAL claims to be a new “wealth loophole” which offers a lucrative money-making scheme that will help the public build fortunes overnight through its “award-winning” cryptocurrency investment platform or automated-trading program promising a success rate of Ninety-Nine Percent (99%) per transaction similar to the modus of other cookie-cutter websites already flagged by the Commission as scams.
Apparently, for a minimum investment of Two Hundred Fifty Euros(€ 250.00)or almost Fifteen Thousand Pesos (Php 15,000.00),BITCOIN DIGITAL promises a potential income as high as Five Hundred Euros to Two Thousand Euros (€ 500.00 -€ 2,000.00) or 100% to 700%profitdailyin exchange for a very small percentage there from for the use of its application which is surely a“too good to be true" investment program. As posted online:
Again, the public is warned of such possible “Ponzi Scheme” similarly devised like other cryptocurrency scams which systems or structures are based and/or relative to the offering and selling of securities, in the form of investment contracts, to the public due to their promise of lucrative passive income.
Therefore, the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) requires that said offer and sale of securities must be duly registered with the Commission and that the concerned corporation and/or its agents have appropriate registration and/or license to sell such securities to the public.
However, based on our records, BITCOIN DIGITAL is NOT REGISTERED with the Commission and is NOT AUTHORIZED to solicit, accept or take investments/placements from the public nor to issue investment contracts and other forms of securities defined under Section 3 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
BITCOINDIGITAL also manages its digital exchange platform without a proper registration with the Commission relative to Section 32 of the SRC on the “Prohibition on Use of Unregistered Exchange.” As shown:
Moreover, BITCOIN DIGITAL is likewise NOT INCLUDED among the registered banks, exchanges or companies engaged in digital assets with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in accordance with the GUIDELINES FOR VIRTUAL CURRENCY EXCHANGES (BSP CIRCULAR NO. 944).
Likewise, BITCOIN DIGITALi s also NOT REGISTERED either as a crowdfunding intermediary or a funding portal under SEC Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series of 2019 or the Rules and Regulations Governing Crowdfunding.
As such, the public is advised NOT TO INVEST or STOP INVESTING in any scheme offered by BITCOIN DIGITAL that promises ridiculous rates of return with little or no risk.
As always, the public is reminded to be cautious of any and all false and/or misleading investment opportunities offered by dubious entities such as BITCOIN DIGITAL that are rampant online. Accordingly, the public is encouraged to constantly check the Commission’s website at “www.sec.gov.ph” and our Official Facebook page “Securities and Exchange Commission Philippines(@PhilippineSEC)” for information and/or guidance before investing their hard-earned monies on any investment schemes and/or programs available relative to our campaign for investor education. Hence, “#magINVESTiga” and “#HuwagMagingBiktima.”
Nevertheless, the Commission assures the public that it will continuously monitor and oversee such entities and their activities in a way that it sees as proper in order to prevent the proliferation of their unauthorized and/or illegal operations in the country.
Thus, the Commission warns all unscrupulous individuals and/or entities that strict penalties are imposed for violations ofthe Securities Regulation Code, the Revised Corporation Code, and such other rules and regulation enforced by the Commission.
Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents ofs uch unauthorized entities in selling or convincing people to invest in their investment scheme offered including solicitations and recruitment through the internet may likewise be criminally prosecuted and penalized with a maximum fine of Five Million pesos (P5,000,000.00)or a penalty of Twenty-one (21) years of imprisonment or both pursuant to Sections 28 and73 of the SRC.
In the same manner, those who invite or recruit others to join or invest in such venture or offer investment contracts or securities to the public may incur criminally liability, or otherwise be sanctioned or penalized accordingly as held by the Supreme Court in the case of SEC vs. Oudine Santos(G.R. No. 195542, 19 March 2014).
The names of all those involved will also be reported to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) so that the appropriate penalties and/or taxes be assessed correspondingly.
Apart therefrom, the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act(Republic Act No. 11469) also punishes those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the current crisis situation to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts.
It must be noted that the above laws are not aimed to hinder or pose significant threats or risks to businesses and cryptocurrency projects but are intended for the protection of both the registered entities and the investing public from any anomalies and/or irregularities which tend to result from any unlawful and/or unauthorized operations.
Further, the public is informed that offering and sale of securities in the form of investment contracts using the “Ponzi Scheme” which is fraudulent and unsustainable, is NOT a registrable security. The Commission will not issue a License to Sell Securities to the Public to persons or entities that are engaged in this business or scheme. A “Ponzi Scheme” is a scam that involves a scheme where monies from new investors are used in paying “fake profits” to prior investors and is designed mainly to favor its top recruiters and prior risk takers and is detrimental to subsequent members in case of scarcity of new investors.
Also, the issuance of a Certificate of Incorporation only grants entities juridical personality but does not constitute an authority or license for the corporation to engage in activities that require a secondary license from the SEC such as a License to Sell Securities to the Public.
Should you have any information regarding any investment solicitation activity by any individual or group of individuals representing BITCOIN DIGITAL, please send your report to the EIPD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the guidance of the public.
Pasay City, 27October2020.