Anonymous data dump ‘spills the beans’ on Mirror Trading International

The data dump suggests MTI has taken in deposits of R4bn, while founders reportedly received R309 million.
All bitcoin transactions are visible on the blockchain, so it is possible to trace where MTI-invested bitcoin came from and where it went. Image: Shutterstock

A group called Anonymous ZA dumped what it claims to be the entire transaction history of Mirror Trading International (MTI), which has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme – a claim denied by the company’s management.

MTI disputes the accuracy and completeness of the data dump. The Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) says it is aware of the data leak and is looking into it. Last month the FSCA said it was investigating the activities of MTI for conducting unlicensed forex trading, and its claims of returns as high as 10% a month. The FSCA advised MTI members to ask for their money back.

Read: FSCA investigating Mirror Trading International

MTI’s argument

MTI’s head of marketing Cheri Marks confirms there was a security breach of the company’s administrative portal. “Yes, it was a criminal act. Yes, we will be pressing charges and everyone publishing the personal information illegally obtained we will refer to our legal counsel. The security breach has been fixed and the information leaked is inaccurate and incomplete at best.”

Marks says MTI is fully compliant with all relevant laws, and is the subject of unwarranted smears and rumour mongering over its referral marketing methods (where commissions of 10% are paid for introducing new members). These commissions are paid by MTI and are not deducted from members’ deposits.

“We have 170 000 members worldwide with roughly 17 000 bitcoin. There is nothing in law that prevents us from using referral marketing. No-one has ever asked for a withdrawal and not received it. We get people daily asking us for withdrawals and we honour all of them without fail.”

She adds that the FSCA has been given access to live trades to prove that profits are generated by trading rather than new bitcoins receipts, as has been claimed by some. “We don’t make promises about returns, and we explain the risks, which is what any responsible company should do.”

The company has an 18-month verifiable trading history with only one negative day of trading, she adds. Some have questioned whether this is possible, to which Marks replies: “The bot is an amazing development. Sure, it makes many losing trades and results vary, but only one day since we started has it ended in a loss.”

When MTI stopped trading forex, it shifted to crypto trading and “our members are happy and informed,” says Marks. “We chose to be in relatively unregulated markets like crypto for the very reason that we cannot suddenly be stopped from trading and have our accounts frozen. We are helping over 170 000 people grow their bitcoin portfolios at a time when governments have failed them, the banking system has failed them, employment is at an all-time low and businesses are failing by the minute.”

Warning signs

However, FSCA is sticking to its guns.

“Our advice had not changed since we issued our statement on MTI last month,” says Brandon Topham, head of investigations at the FSCA. “We recommend clients ask for their money back without delay. Our investigation into the company is ongoing.”

The fact that MTILeaks was able to grab the entire transaction history, apparently without hacking, points to “low budget” and shoddy website security, according to one source who asked not to be named.

“All data was acquired using simple enumeration and scraping techniques on the mymticlub.com site. No hacks were performed because the lack of basic security did not require it,” says a statement by MTILeaks.

“If your bank gave you access to any other customer’s data in such an insecure fashion, would you trust them to trade with your Bitcoin?”

But what’s inside the database may be of greater interest: it suggests the company has taken in deposits of more than R4 billion since inception and paid out R309 million to the founders. Total withdrawal requests by members reportedly total R2,9 billion, leaving “money in the bank” of R1.3 billion after withdrawn amounts and cancelled withdrawals are accounted for.

Members push on

Several MTI clients contacted Moneyweb when we previously reported on the company to reassure us they were receiving returns as promised.

Read: Get-rich-quick scheme pulls a crowd, despite regulators calling time-out

One MTI client says he was able to verify forex trades reported by the company as accurate. The company says it has stopped trading in forex in an effort to remain compliant with regulators and switched to trading bitcoin using computerised algorithms. That claim has also raised eyebrows in the crypto community.

Switching from trading one asset class to another virtually without pause – and apparently without a break in profits – has the skeptics is disbelief.

In a statement issued last month by Globalcrypto, MTI refuted allegations that MTI’s multi-level marketing systems is a Ponzi scheme, and that “members are able to add or withdraw their funds (bitcoin) at any time, with no complication or fees.” CEO Johann Steynberg added that MTI wants to change the reputation of the online passive income generating industry and ensure that the company is professionally managed and complies with all regulations.

Yet regulators in Texas and Canada recently sounded the alarm over MTI’s business practices. The company is accused of making misleading claims about its returns, while the Quebec Financial Market Authority listed MTI as a company that solicits investors illegally. MTI clients are rewarded with 10% commissions of new sign-ups.

Read: Joining MTI may end in tears

A separate analysis of MTI by South African blockchain researchers shows that by the first week of August 2020, a total of 15 351 bitcoin had been sent to various addresses controlled by MTI. That’s worth $170 million (R2.78 billion) at current bitcoin prices.

MTI only accepts deposits in bitcoin. Some local exchanges have reported a spike in demand for Bitcoin in recent months, at least some of which is destined for MTI. “We started to notice this some months back and began questioning people who appeared to be elderly and buying Bitcoin to participate in MTI. Though we didn’t have much information at the time, we advised caution,” says one crypto executive who asked not to be named.

All bitcoin transactions are visible on the blockchain, so it is possible to trace bitcoin destined for MTI and where it originated. The majority of these bitcoin are purchased on crypto exchanges such as Luno, VALR, Binance and Coinbase and then shipped to addresses controlled by MTI. Crypto exchanges have no control over the destination of bitcoin sent by customers, though some have started to question clients and advise them against it.

The data dump suggests that of the bitcoin received by MTI, a total of 3 755 appear to have been sent to online sports betting site Cloudbet.com and a further 845 to FXChoice, a Belize-based forex trading broker.

In June FXChoice said it blocked MTI’s trading account after investigating its high return claims and its use of multi-level marketing to attract new customers. “Before the account was blocked, [MTI] executed just a few trading operations, which were performed manually, large and incurred substantial losses,” says a statement from FX Choice, adding that it is still waiting for documents to confirm the source of funds.

Marks says the FXChoice statement is misleading. “We chose to move our funds to another broker who understands crypto before FXChoice made that statement. FXChoice is a forex regulated broker and it has frozen a few hundred bitcoin belonging to MTI shareholders – not member-owned bitcoin. We didn’t want to be at the mercy of a regulated broker that has to act on rumours generated in the press. We are in the process of supplying the financial information FXChoice requested.”

The MTILeaks database shows a payout of R1,45 billion to members, of which R360 million was in the form of bonuses for referring new members. Marks says this is also misleading since attributing a rand value to bitcoin withdrawals depends on the timing and the price of bitcoin, which is changing all the time.

“MTI has never and will never discourage members from withdrawing, we want them to see the fruits of our service to them. In August this year MTI effected 34 734 individual withdrawals to the value of 5933.85 bitcoin without any limitation. The fact that the biggest issue with MTI is our CEO’s willingness to share the bot’s functions with members is ridiculous to say the least.”

“The ‘shortfall’ in bitcoin claimed to be factual by Anonymous ZA is based upon the assumption that MTI is not trading, which is not the case. MTI remains focused on servicing its members and delivering on our brand promise, which we have done an exceptional job of to date,” Marks says.

In a statement issued to members last month, Steynberg writes: ”The time has come, to for once and for all, address and reframe the reputational perception issues of regulators, the media and potential members about this industry, through MTI demonstrating that a genuine bona fide business and brand using an innovative business model of integrity can exist and grow sustainably in this sector. I am personally very determined to see this through and together with and supported by MTI’s professional advisors, this process is now underway.”

  • The story has been updated to incorporate responses from MTI’s Cheri Marks and to remove personal financial information.

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Soon there will be long faces by the ” investors ”
=( future victims ). How anybody can entrust any funds to people with such a shady financial history beggars believe.

Unrealistic expectation, false hope, undue confidence and blind faith are the tools of ignorance.

The so-called investors will soon crawl out of the woodwork here and start blaming the media. They will also tell stories of how they made big bucks.

@scaramouche. Par 3.
Last month the FSCA said it was investigating the activities of MTI for conducting unlicensed forex trading, and its claims of returns as high as 10% a month. The FSCA advised MTI members to ask for their money back.

Despite Bernie Madoff fleecing innocent people through the biggest Ponzi fraud in history, stupidity will always lure the greedy

10% per month on an investment..? only possible if you trade in products, buy and sell it yourself, otherwise leave your money in a savings account, it’s safe there

Why give your money to someone else to earn yields? Are you too lazy to do it yourself?

Punishment is to lose it all!

I think the reason why these investors will not believe the articles is for the same reason 419 scams still work. The promise of high return and lack of credibility is similar to the unbelievable claims, bad grammar and spelling of a 419 scam, if people still bite you got an ideal client.

@ Wynand Louw, Agree, check out Think Like a Freak by Freakonomics authors. They explain that the “unbelievable claims, bad grammar and spelling” and the fact that in some cases even state that they are from Nigeria, act as a filter, they do not want to waste time on someone that will find them out at the last minute after they have invested a lot of e-mail and phone time on them.

Intelligence and it’s opposite stupidity of the mark is often mentioned as the reason it works. However you do not need heaps of intelligence to figure out that these are scams (same as you do not need a 1000HP vehicle to get you from A to B) but so many normally intelligent and functioning people still fall for them.

Soon the company will go into liquidation, the sheriff will knock on your door to collect the payouts. It is then that everyone will realize that nobody made any money. Sorry folks you lost everything you deposited into that scam plus some.

So, you invested R8500.00 in March and is prepared to gamble with it. You pull out R10,000.00 in June. Now you listen to everybody that say you need to run because you are going to lose your profit. I know, you all will just run. Or will you stay a little longer? Maybe now you know why many do not run, it is their profit in trading.

What is there to lose if you already pulled out your initial investment? It is quite enjoyable to make profits from trading. Remember, we made profit from trading and the bitcoin price increase that doubled. I suppose one call that a double whammy. Sorry you missed out.

Should they rather trust fund managers who have done nothing for the past 10yrs? Let people invest where they wish if they get burnt it is their money. FSCA and regulators are only an obstacle. All their regulations are combative as opposed to facilitative while preventing criminal activities

Ponzi schemes and Bitcoin.
Not a good marriage.

The scam team of BTC Global days are up. Cant hide if you’re trading Bitcoin on the blockchain. Oh and dont forget the Ponzi queen of Durban Liz Malton in all of this as well.

Same old same, exuberant returns is always “Ponzi”-like.

This is the thing that gets me. If you had a legit business, why on earth would you want to pay the “investors” multiples of the prime rate? Why not just go and borrow the money the investors would lend you from a bank, who will only charge you prime? What does the bank know that your “investors” don’t?

Even more mystifying: how come all investors don’t ask this very basic question? I have absolutely no sympathy for somebody who loses his money in this way. You’re too stupid to have any money if you fall for this.

I do agree with your points

This article is absolute rubbish. Stolen hacked half information now passes for truth. Was Experians security also “shoddy”?
All this article proves is that members are able to withdraw funds whenever they want, unlike actual pyramid or ponzi schemes.
So thanks for the free advertising, you have greatly helped MTI.
The FSCA also has ZERO say over companies or people who invest or trade in Bitcoin as it is unregulated.
You should be held liable as an accomplice for reporting false twisted information that has been stolen.
I am almost positive the new protection of cyber information bill covers this.
Enjoy jail my friend.

Really? Anybody can withdraw all their money at any time? Kindly provide us with proof that this is the case – perhaps send the editor a bank statement of yours, dated today or tomorrow, showing a repayment the money that you allege you can withdraw?

Cue the excuses.

You clearly dont know what you are talking about. Either way. All I can say is in less than 6 months, I invested 36k and withdrew 47k which leaves a profit of 11k. I was sceptical about this and still am a bit but i like taking calculated risks. I have gotten every cent back and more. I took a chance and it paid off, but that being said, I believe there are many grey areas still and there is a chance of this all collapsing, but who knows. Banks etc are also making up all kinda of nonsense because people are rather investing their money with companies like mti where u actually get value for money invested. Banks should all rather be investigated for the nonsense they feed their clients. Yes your money is safer with banks but at 6% a year interest they can rather come suck my big toe, because what they make off your money is much much much more than what they give you at the end of the day. The way I see it, and I could be wrong, is that MTI is basically cutting out the middleman who is the bank and thats why you get more bang for your buck. The way it should be. Banks are the biggest scam artists in this world, but all the sheeple just keep tagging along. Im not a sheeple thats why i test the waters with MTI but I am doing it little by little, making sure that I dont lose anything and any profits i made is what i now use to trade with. If I lose that, well then I never lost anything did I?? But telling people they lying is not on. Check your facts before commenting and spewing the nonsense you are spewing all over the place.

@Pman054 – laughable response, tinfoil hat stuff, yammering and yowling about the banks, but still not taking up my challenge.

1. Withdraw an amount from the Ponzi scheme today.

2. Send your bank statement with all other transactions blacked out to Moneyweb, thereby proving that this is not a scam.

Come, it’s simple. Prove us wrong.

Quote

“Incitatus 22 hours ago

Really? Anybody can withdraw all their money at any time? Kindly provide us with proof that this is the case – perhaps send the editor a bank statement of yours, dated today or tomorrow, showing a repayment the money that you allege you can withdraw?

Cue the excuses.”

after reading above I put in withdrawel request on mine and my wife yesterday at about 2:20 pm received sms from luno 9:25 pm bitcoin in then checked altcoin trader and other was also in can sen copies to editor if required of withdrawel requests and bitcoin in at luno and altcointrader. this was a lot quicker than 48 hrs indicated

You’re wrong. I’m sorry that MTI ‘founders’ used your money for sports betting.

@Incitatus the author clearly said there have been multiple withdrawals so I don’t need to prove anything to you, since you clearly believe this article you can believe the author as well.
Or I can send you the link and you can join MTI and find out for yourself. Easy as bud, easy as.

So Moneyweb or moneyscam also only posts half the comments?
Where is my comment?
Or are you afraid of ruining your reputation with the lies you have printed.

As suspected. Let me guess: either a shill for the scammers, or an “investor” who got in early and is now scared he’ll have to pay back the ill-gotten gains.

Here here @incitatus – all these financial illiterates involved in this scam / cult cant even do basic research into what a scam is. I have my popcorn waiting for more of the rats to comment.

When MTI had the security breach i immediatley pulled a large portion of my BTC, i will gladly supply proof of the funds deposited into my my account and the withdrawl notifications from MTI.

“The data dump suggests that of the bitcoin received by MTI, a total of 3 755 appear to have been sent to online sports betting site Cloudbet.com…” – If everything before isn’t a red flag for the dull-minded, then surely that should be.

If you are happy with this “investment” it’s only because you are benefiting form the destroyed lives that are sure to follow.

I’ve had the losers in these types of schemes come crying for help (weirdly always around / after Christmas time) once the penny eventually dropped that they had in fact lost every cent…I have one answer for that: Stupid is as stupid does and stupid don’t deserve to be the custodians of any scrap of somebody else’s money once they have lost theirs.

🙂 Cloudbet.com is their so called trading BOT – This is so funny its hard to believe anyone puts money into this scam.

Ciaran, please direct us to where in any of the MTI material they “promise” a 10% monthly return. I looked but only find reference to past trading results and a clear disclaimer that says historical returns are not a guarantee of future earnings. Can you provide your readers with factual proof that your allegation is correct?

“Ciaran, please direct us to where in any of the MTI material they ‘promise’ a 10% monthly return.”

Please direct us to where Ciaran says this?

I was about to ask that. As I could not find it in the article.

MTI disputes the accuracy and completeness of the data dump. The Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) says it is aware of the data leak and is looking into it. Last month the FSCA said it was investigating the activities of MTI for conducting unlicensed forex trading, and its claims of returns as high as 10% a month. The FSCA advised MTI members to ask for their money back.
As high as 10 % a month they promise you. That stupid I am not to fall for it.

I mean, if your founder cannot even spell Bona fide correctly, then you should worry! I see the offices is in Plein street Stellenbosch, any chance we can get an interview from them?

This is like watching the Nikola Corp and GM deal…great entertainment!

Always interesting to me how these platforms and guys like Bernie Madoff, so easily convince people to invest.Think people are desperate and try anything for a good returns.

Mr Ryan, I read your article with great interest. I was really hoping to get some real, well researched and perceptible information but I must say I am still unclear as to what MTI has done wrong. Almost all articles I have read from Moneyweb seem to spread news that MTI is a scam, a ponzi scheme, a get-rich-quick scheme run by fraudsters who have committed similar fraud before.

As a person deeply interested in learning more from your investigative journalism and ability to uncover financial syndicates, I am keen to get the actual “hook” upon which you hang MTI’s alleged crimes. Are you able to clearly tell me what they have done wrong without all the sensation you seem to be focusing on?

In other words, which South African laws, or any other country’s laws, has MTI violated? If they have committed some form of crime, there must be some laws that they have already violated, or else your reports remain baseless allegations. It is part of your job, kind Sir, to help us separate between authentic and spurious claims.

Are you saying they are not a legally registered company?
Are you saying they should have registered with the FSCA?
Are you saying they do not have the bitcoins they claim to hold on behalf of investors?
Have they taken people’s bitcoins and ran away with them?
Are they not trading on behalf of investors?
Is their network marketing matrix wrong or is network marketing unlawful according to you?
What exactly are they doing wrong?

If the leaders have been involved in fraudulent activities before, are there any criminal cases against them? Are they currently off on bail or are they under investigation? Were they owners of the fraudulent scams or were they investors who got scammed?

You seem to be bothered by the earnings of the MTI excecutives. Are they not doing a better job for the man on the street than South African banks who use their clients’ money but give them between 3.5 and 8% per year whilst they themselves take home millions every year?

Just to name a few, were you bothered when the CEO of FNB, Jacques Celliers was paid R29.29 million for the 2018 financial year?

Where you concerned when Nedbank dished out a combined pay of R210.2 million to its top six executives in 2018? That was an average of R35 million per executive! Their CEO, Mike Brown, received a total package of R53 million for that year.

Did it worry you when the CEO of FirstRand, Johan Burger, received R49.37 million for the 2018 financial year?

When the CEO of Standard Bank, Sim Tshabalala got paid R49.38 million did you have any issues?

What about the Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie, who got paid R56.6 million in 2018. Did that bother you?

Need I mention more?

At what point is something considered a get-rich-quick scheme? When its executives and shareholders make millions, or when ordinary clients and investors make millions?

So why are the earnings of the MTI executives an issue in this case?

Regardless of the shamefully low interest given to bank clients who invest with all these banks, executives of these banks got paid millions for riding on the breaking backs of their clients. When you borrow from these banks, they charge you 20-27% interest per year (at times even more if your credit record is very bad), yet when you invest with the same banks they give you some pathetic 6-8% per year. Does that make any sense to you?

Next year when financial reports are released, look at how much the CEOs of South African Banks and other companies in the financial sector would have earned, regardless of their poor performance due to COVID-19.

Now, who is a scam here? MTI or the banks?

”When all else fails, read the instructions”

Anonymous

Bitcoin Blockchain Security – this is what is claimed:
”Blockchain transactions are also secured by cryptography. Each transaction is signed with a private key and then can be further verified with a public key. If transaction data changes, the signature becomes invalid. As a result, the block is ignored and won’t make it to the chain”
Yarwell no fine – it looks like it can ”make it out of the chain” – which begs the question – is it easier than opening a can of Bully beef?
Money Till Investigated, can be made as long as ”exchange Control” is not contravened – but they are being investigated by the FCSA – for exactly this, which is bad news for the investors – as self-regulation is not an exact science.

Ponzi or pyramid scheme participants exhibit certain common behavioral traits:
1.) Overconfidence;
2.) Spontaneous decision making;
3.) Prone to herding. Invest together with friends and family;
4.) Preference for risk taking.
For the majority of participants this will probably not be their first or last “get-rich” scheme.

Don’t forget Greed and Fear.
Stupid is as stupid does, and stupidity is what makes these scamsters rich.

Love watching fools and their money being parted. Very entertaining… Also no need for authorities (paid for by tax payers) to get involved. Early players will of course make money – usually by convincing family and friends to speculate in these schemes. Please note – these are speculative high risk games – and should never be called investments. Go for it…

Agreed! The picture painted by the media is that these investors are innocent and do not know any better. On the contrary, they know exactly how these things work and assume they they have an edge of over the other participants. If you really believe you have an advantage and there are R100 notes lying around that no-one else has noticed, then go ahead and invest in these schemes. Trying to legislate against this behavior just drives up investment costs for the entire industry.

Marks, methinks the devil is in the detail – you confirm the following: ”When MTI stopped trading forex, it shifted to crypto trading and “our members are happy and informed,” says Marks”

Marks, in essence, you contravened exchange control (if you didn’t obtain specific Excon approval – and if you do have approval – kindly Quote your Reference Number!

How much did you repatriate offshore when buying Bitcoin – US$ 300 million? And if not US$ 300, how much was done?

As a taxpayer, I demand that these US Dollars be repatriated immediately. The Dollar Rand has been volatile and the SARB as last resort carries the exchange rate risk (Exchange Control Contingency Reserve Account) when revaluing our reserves at every month-end.

The way I understand it, funds were converted to BTC in SA, left SA in BTC & returned to SA in BTC, so no exchange control is applicable as SARB does not consider BTC legal tender, at present. If, however, funds were sent offshore to purchase BTC, exchange control would apply.

Of course, SARS considers crypto to be intangible assets & is subject to CGT or income in the case of trading. Hence, it is imperative to declare profits & capital gains for SA tax purposes.

https://www.resbank.co.za/RegulationAndSupervision/FinancialSurveillanceAndExchangeControl/FAQs/Pages/VirtualCurrenciesCryptocurrencies.aspx

I have no personal view on MTI because:
1. have not researched MTI
2. the returns are not just possible, but extremely mediocre for crypto.

For all the naysayers who doubt this, head over to coingecko and search some DeFi coins & look at 1yr performance; like AAVE (8348%); SNX (640%); REN (254%); KNC (303%); BAND (733%); LRC (526%); DOS (3130%); RSR (390%)…the list goes on and on. A strategy of reaching 2x & extracting 100% of capital invested leaves only profit.

These returns exclude saving, staking, pooling etc where rewards of up to 120% are received for adding liquidity to the market.

Yes it is the high risk unregulated wild wild west of finance and financial planners have every right to be skeptical as they have only been taught regulated markets… & they should be afraid, very afraid; the crypto market is taking bread from their tables at warp speed (MTI alone is R3bn taken out of legacy markets & they are minuscule in the crypto space; if financial planners don’t adapt, they will find themselves without an income in the medium term, especially given their poultry performances of late.

How old are you seriously? 12, 14, 15? You come here and try and justify that DeFi is the go to place to invest and make good returns for people giving you their money. You need to do some hard research on investing or even trading. BTW DeFi at best is a live experiment transacted on a dodgy ETH Blockchain crammed with scam coins.

There you go…just as expected…a naysayer who knows zip about DeFi & ready to express an opinion.

We do not take anyone’s money & certainly do not invest on behalf of anyone.

We have a well diversified personal portfolio of real estate, gold, silver & crypto, risk balanced in that order.

But hey, I’m just a teenager with only 40 years investment experience…what the hell would I know!

Just received my bitcoin from the “scam” Weird that it was not “stolen”?Jealousy make you nasty i guess. Some are not setup for success. Stay poor and negative and lose daily with your rand in the bank. These guys writing these articles should go back to school.

How do the loyal investors feel about “ a total of 3 755 appear to have been sent to online sports betting site Cloudbet.com”? Is that what you thought you signed up for?

I work for a large cleaning company and a few weeks ago my staff received their annual provident fund statements for 2019 from the investment company.
No less than 4 months of the year were negative months with one of them being -2.57% and the rest were an average of +0.3% per month.
This essentially means that 2019 meant nothing. There was no growth.
But I guarantee you the brokers were paid their exorbitant salaries while my poor cleaning staff dream of their provident fund one day which actually amounts to very little.
Who exactly is scamming who?
These institutions are ripping us off solidly and the sheeple are eating it up because that’s how they have been trained.

I have stepped out of that box and I am happy with MTI and my investment.
No institution will see my money thank you, besides the bank where my salary goes in as that cannot be helped.

I refuse to be a sheep.

Why don’t all these haters go write comments on the government page and ask where is the R500 Billion?

You are in for a big surprise.

@BM83.

You state YOU WORK for a large cleaning company. You WORK for a living. Are you for real??

If you have say R1mil of capital (which you can loan from the stupid, evil banks at say 6% per annum…note..per ANNUM), and you earn say conservatively 8-10% PER MONTH in MTI….you would be earning around R80,000 – R100,000 per month (tax free).

Why on earth are you still working????? (…answer: you have no faith in the fabulous MTI ponzi)

C’mon: get those poor workers signed up. With impressive schemes like MTI, no-one on the planet needs to be working. We all can just sit back….

I firmly believe every negative comment on here is a broker losing investment money or a journalists realizing their front page story is falling apart.

Or somebody with basic arithmetic skill and a collective 2 braincells. But sure wheeee magic money

I have one statement and one question. I withdrew my BTC today and have recieved it – Why are people so infatuated with attacking MTI, the investors have to understand the risk and that is there choice. I dont go attacking BMW because i think there vehicles are rubbish. There must be some other underlying motive for these media attacks and i dont believe its to warn people. I get the feeling this boils done to fiat vs cryto and old school vs new school. This is bigger than MTI and there haters, this trend is global now

It has nothing to do with Fiat vs Crypto or Old School vs New. It has to do with an illegal Ponzi Scheme.

Agree ! The only Way you will control this is for the liquidations to calll back all profits from investors who have have already cashed in . Then distribute to all creditors .

This is certainly a polarizing conversation – thank goodness we aren’t discussing religion or politics at the same time

Let me attempt and bring some balance to the whole thing; most regular community commenters here are just trying to be helpful and give some insight into what most certainly is a Ponzi scheme.

1. No one is saying that crypto currencies are “bad” nor that significant (albeit risky) gains can be made on trading them
2. No one is defending the banks or fund managers from what I can make out either; the only thing being pointed out is that you get what you pay for and you trade some assurance of returns for lower yields (classic risk/reward)
3. I do not doubt that BM83, Myricals, DOAKES etc. have received their BTC either (how long this will still be the case is another matter)

While this doesn’t need to be pointed out to my learned colleagues I think what is being missed here by some is that a Ponzi scheme generally DOES pay out to members as long as new members join and new money is put into the scheme – no decently constructed (for lack of a better term) Ponzi scheme can work without at least some people walking away with massive gains to flame the fires of hype and irrational exuberance.
Depending on the sophistication a “good” scheme can last for a very long time – think Bernie Madoff who kept it up for decades.

To those that have been able to walk away unscathed; count yourselves lucky and take your gains off the table before the music stops (and its only a matter of time before it will).

No names, no pack drill – these are my views with regards to crypto trading:

SA Exchange control rules are simple – you must have a firm and ”ascertainable” commitment before you can start buying and selling foreign currency.
I do understand most of the exchange control rules and regulations from all the official regulators. I spoke to some of my friends and ex-colleagues to try and ascertain where the crypto tokens fit in. My view is that you cannot use your annual foreign allowance, buying cryptocurrencies in SA, in foreign currency. Any purchase of foreign currency when investing in these funds offshore should be done via the official regulated channels. The same principle applies when these funds are repatriated later, for whatever reason.
Fund managers marketing and trading in these tokens, cannot trade on any FX platform offshore – the buying and selling of foreign exchange, for whatever reason are strictly prohibited, especially for cryptos.
I became aware that the FSCA was busy investigating certain Fund Managers that were involved in the FX leg of their crypto trading without an FX license.
I contacted one of these Fund Managers directly by email and asked certain FX related questions, with regards to their crypto trading. My biggest surprise came when my email was answered by their Legal department, and not by their ”Compliance Officer” – as my questions were compliance-related.
I was surprised and requested more information but was promptly informed that their Lawyers will in the future handle all my queries etc.
I couldn’t believe what happened, save to say that nothing like this will happen when you contact the most reputable and licensed equity fund manager in sunny SA requesting information about the products that they market and sell.
I can fully understand the FSCA’s warning with regards to certain fund managers – just ask your money back, as their investigation is ongoing!
I am not against cryptocurrency trading – they are only tokens and not part of any official asset class, but the market needs regulations. I am well aware that three of the biggest central banks in the world are busy investigating crypto trading, hence my concerns.

“My view is that you cannot use your annual foreign allowance, buying cryptocurrencies in SA, in foreign currency”

Your view is incorrect.

Why not just call your banker & ask. I did…and could freely use my fx allowance to buy crypto in USD…they even sent the USD direct to the foreign crypto exchange for me….not once but many times. The last one they advised that I don’t even have to complete a BOP form anymore…boom, another R0.35m out of ZAR.

Anyone holding disposable bags of ZAR will ultimately regret not getting it offshore, or noshore in the case of crypto.

My view is that you cannot use your annual foreign allowance, buying cryptocurrencies in SA, in foreign currency.

Read carefully what I said – you cannot pay !anybody in SA in foreign currency – that is what I said. There are only a select few Large Corporates in SA that’s got that compensation – the rules are very strict

If you paid anybody in SA in foreign currency – please let me know which Bank did it – it’s against FX Control – I was in the FX market long enough to know that!

I wouldn’t know why a SA citizen would pay another SA citizen in foreign currency for goods & services…perhaps this is a thing I am not aware of?

Of course, I can be paid for goods & services in crypto by any SA citizen as crypto is not a currency per SARB. It would be considered barter trade.

this article just rubbish, try to only help the MTI organiszation. I don’t believe in all points this Moneyweb website describes. the way they describing things like they know only positive points, not a negative one.

End of comments.

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