Investor alert: SEC tells public to avoid high-flying virtual currencies
The Securities and Exchange Commission has warned the public against buying or adopting digital currencies like bitcoin that assure any form of fixed return by recruiting new investors.
Victual currencies, such as bitcoin, have become popular in the global marketplace with fraudsters thriving on the gullibility of their victims through the promise of a get rich quick scheme.
In an advisory to the public, the SEC said: “The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas does not intend to endorse any virtual currency (VC) such as bitcoin, since it is neither issued or guaranteed by a central bank nor backed by any commodity.
Rather, the BSP aims to regulate VCs when used for delivery of financial services, particularly for payments and remittances, which have material impact on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, consumer protection and financial stability.”
The warning comes after receiving information that Pluggle Inc. has been soliciting investments from the pubic without the necessary license in violation of the Securities Regulation Code.
Individuals representing Pluggle are promising investors high rates of return with an initial cash out of P1,000 and by getting referrals.
Under Pluggle’s investment scheme, members are asked to sign up to its website through a sponsored link and to purchase an activation code worth P1,000 through their accounts using bitcoin or through other legitimate members of leaders. It promises a return of 30-100 percent in 12 days.
According to the SEC, people who act as salesmen or recruit other individuals to invest in Pluggle’s offering may be prosecuted and held criminally liable. They could be meted a maximum fine of P5 million or face 21 year imprisonment or both pursuant to section 73 of the SRC.