Bitcoin and cryptocurrency might not be the simplest of concepts to grasp, but you don’t have to be an expert to spot there’s something a little off about Bitcoiin: the new decentralised digital currency endorsed by Steven Seagal.
There’s the name, for starters, with the additional ‘i’ in Bitcoiin doing little to persuade anyone that this is a wholly legitimate cryptocurrency that’s well worth investing in. In fact, it’s not even called Bitcoiin but Bitcoiin2Gen which only makes matters worse.
Then there’s the presence of Seagal as the brand’s new worldwide ambassador; an actor who hasn’t released a film at the cinema since the 1990s and who, more recently, has been accused of some pretty shady stuff. That’s only the tip of the iceberg though – it’s when you get to the nitty gritty of that things get more worrying.
For one thing, Coindesk has already highlighted the fact that the website for Bitcoiin2Gen offers next to no details as to who is actually behind the cryptocurrency. All we know is that the domain was registered in Panama back in 2015 and changed hands back in January.
Second, despite trading under the name Bitcoiin2Gen, this particular digital currency is claimed to be based on Ethereum’s blockchain.
There’s also the small matter of the Bitcoiin2Gen affliliate program for an Initial Coin Offering, which comes complete with a pyramid chart. Now what sort of scheme would use a pyramid for a chart?
Fear not, though, as the team behind Bitcoiin2Gen have put together a white paper. Well, they call it a white paper. It’s more of a white pamphlet which doesn’t offer up much of an explanation as to what the cryptocurrency actually does, though investors are promised high returns.
The press release announcing Seagal’s endorsement is utterly bizarre too:
“As a Buddhist, Zen teacher, and healer, Steven lives by the principles that the development of the physical self is essential to protect the spiritual man. He believes that what he does in his life is about leading people into contemplation to wake them up and enlighten them in some manner. These are precisely the objectives of the Bitcoiin2Gen to empower the community by providing a decentralized P2P payment system with its own wallet, mining ecosystem and robust blockchain platform without the need of any third party.”
Still, there’s nothing shady about celebrities endorsing cryptocurrencies and ICOs in general, right? Wrong.
“Celebrities and others are using social media networks to encourage the public to purchase stocks and other investments,” a statement from the Securities and Exchanges Commission warned.
“These endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement
“Celebrities who endorse an investment often do not have sufficient expertise to ensure that the investment is appropriate and in compliance with federal securities laws. Conduct research before making investments, including in ICOs.”
Seagal fans need not worry too much – the martial arts movie legend is still busy churning out films, including this incredible effort that sees him going up against Mike Tyson as part of an eight-minute long fight. Wow.