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United States’ SEC busts Ponzi scheme utilizing diamond-backed cryptocurrency

Yash Rajan



Ponzi Scheme utilizing diamond backed cryptocurrency ceased by Securities and Exchange Commission
Source: Pixabay

The United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission in Florida has taken strict actions to terminate the recent Ponzi scheme that involved $30 million worth of diamond-backed cryptocurrency, Argyle Coin which targeted nearly 300 investors.

The diamond-backed cryptocurrency business revolved around buying and selling of raw diamonds. Argyle Coin was unique due to its offerings. The main purpose was to ease the process of smart contracts for enhancing the speed of online transactions of colored diamonds. It assured partial ownership of expensive colored diamonds. Argyle Coin was tangible that is, offering colored diamonds worth millions.

The Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] stated that the Palm Beach-based company enticed people by offering investment schemes that were promoted by diamonds in the year 2014. The mastermind behind the Ponzi Scheme, Jose Angel Aman, principal of Argyle Coin LLC, deceived investors and used their money to carry out the scheme.

The SEC also imposed a ban on Natural Diamonds Investment Co. and Eagle Financial Diamond Group as they were found to unlawfully support Argyle Coin. Harold Seigel and Jonathan Seigel, promoters of Natural Diamonds Investment Co. and Eagle Financial Diamond Group, were also charged with supporting the two companies and backing the Ponzi scheme.

The Federal court in Florida authorized the Commission to freeze the capital assets of defaulters and sanctioned its request to restrict operations of the company temporarily.

Counsel for the Seigels issued a joint statement saying,

“They, themselves, have personally been wrongfully accused; vehemently denying the allegations lodged against them, refuting any contention they participated in a Ponzi scheme or otherwise misled their friends, family and long standing clients in any way.”

An official statement released about Argyle Coin revealed how Aman started the scheme way back in 2014 and invited prospective investors to invest in Natural Diamonds. Aman promised investors that he would use the funds to gather, cut and furbish raw diamonds under the name of “fancy colored diamonds”.  The scheme promised to deliver 24 percent of invested money and full return of investment within a span of two years.

Further, they provided Eagle Financial Diamond Group’s investment contracts to investors and promised to build a cryptocurrency entirely backed by diamonds, adding that it was risk-proof.

However, the Commission gathered evidence to prove that there were no diamonds and that the funds were wrongfully used to compensate investors of previous companies – Natural Diamonds Investment Co. and Eagle Financial Diamond Group. The victims of the financial fraud were misguided as Aman inappropriately used $10 million worth of funds to fuel his company and pay his personal expenses.

In the final charge sheet, the SEC charged the owners on a misconduct charge and banned the companies for committing crimes in violation of federal security laws, also charging them under anti-fraud provisions.

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Binance Chain testnet undergoes ‘Galileo’ update via hardfork; mainnet to follow suit




Binance Chain testnet to receive 'Galileo' update via a hardfork; mainnet to follow soon
Source: Unsplash

Binance Chain’s testnet underwent a hardfork today at block height 24,020,000, at around 2019/06/26 7:00 AM (UTC). The new update will have various bug fixes, improvements to the existing chain, and is expected to improve on-chain performance.

The new announcement details all the features the new update will include for DEX users, or any exchanges that list BNB, or run a client. The BNB blockchain will provide validators access to create a “delist protocol” and vote on delisting trading pairs that have very little volume for a long time via governance.

The Galileo update will also provide a “Time Locking” feature for token assets, while also improving the Match Engine in Binance DEX, which according to the blog is “not optimized in some cases.” The complete list of changes is available for users to read in the changelog.

The testnet changes will be followed by changes on the mainnet. The blog added,

“Binance Chain Mainnet will also be undergoing an upgrade a few weeks later (please stay tuned with the later announcement).”

Additionally, Binance also announced the launch of Binance 2.0 for everyone, which also includes the margin trading feature on Binance. The Binance 2.0 has the website revamped, with the old one being decommissioned soon.

While some users complained that there were problems depositing USDT, others complained that margin trading feature was still not available.

A Twitter user, @rallyqt, commented,

“- Galileo upgrade
– Margin
– Binance stable coin
– Binance DEX
Keep building & piecing the Binance ecosystem together! 🧩
@cz_binance, how many users signed up for Binance this year? Alt fomo season starts when exchanges have to temp close due to an influx of users haha 😉😊”

CZ replied,

“We have increased our registration capacity in anticipation of this, a year ago. It should work, in theory, let’s see what happens. 😂
Registrations are definitely picking up speed.”

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