04 May 2022 16:24, UTC.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines (SEC) issued an official warning to investors, advising caution when investing in digital assets.
The SEC publicly announced that the Leefire/Leefire Limited/Leefire Ph/Leefire Philippines cryptocurrency project is a pyramid scheme. The project is not licensed to operate in the country and is not registered with the regulator. At the same time Leefire offers investments through its website and mobile application available in the Google Play store, promising fabulous profits. Project organizers claim that investors receive a cash bonus of 120 Philippine pesos ($2.3) upon registration, which can be used to buy various goods on the platform.
Pyramid members can earn tokens by completing various tasks on the platform. The reward for users at the highest, eighth level, is, if the ads are to be believed, $6,880. However, in order to withdraw funds, a member of Leefire must necessarily invite other people to the project, who will invest any amount. Only then will the tokens be unlocked for withdrawal, the SEC says. For each new user registered through a referral link, the pyramid member is promised $2.3.
Leefire organizers say their LFC token will be traded on major cryptocurrency exchanges until June 30. The project’s marketing materials state that LFC token can be exchanged for Philippine pesos at a 1:1 ratio before listing on exchanges. Subsequently, users will only be able to exchange the token for the peso at a ratio of 1:10, which has raised more suspicions from the regulator.
The SEC of the Philippines urged against investing in the Leefire project and other pyramid-related investment schemes. The regulator warned: if any platforms, brokers or dealers interact with Leefire, they could face a fine of 5 million Philippine pesos ($96,000) or up to 21 years in prison.
In 2020, the Philippine regulator warned about the fraudulent cryptocurrency project TBCoin, which misled investors into guaranteeing them passive income. However, the Philippine government is generally quite loyal to cryptocurrencies. In April, the Bataan Administration of the Philippines (FAB) announced plans to become an offshore financial center for blockchain and cryptocurrency development.
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