Now and then, there are reports about crypto-related projects running off with investor funds and leaving the livelihood of many victims shattered forever.
PortaldoBitcoin, a crypto-focused news outlet in Brazil, reported on one such development following the unexpected demise of PlayWorld, a firm that promised to reward investors with profits earned from forex trading and cryptocurrency mining.
According to the report, PlayWorld promised to pay investors a high 2% daily profit or a 200% annual return if they buy units of investment shares priced at Brazilian Reals 4.00 ($1) per contract held by PlayWorld.
The company’s founder, Celso Luiz, used a scheme which has proven to work over the years, promising investors massive returns in exchange for introducing new members to the program, with many committing between R$ 200 ($48) to R$ ($48,000)
While the report did not mention was the scheme started, it noted that it was until March this year that investors began to receive complaints regarding fund withdrawals. In response to the charges, Celso reportedly alleged that the company was experiencing issues related to bank withdrawal limits and also that hackers targeted their bitcoin wallet.
Then in May, he told investors that technical problems in the system led to “immeasurable” damage, which also affected the company’s bitcoins.
At the time of writing, investors have filed several lawsuits with local courts with some even in debt for promoting PlayWorld. One of them, who spoke to the investors on the condition of anonymity said:
I've been cursed and even threatened by some people, without being able to borrow money to give back to some people, lost friendship with some, and feel dissatisfied with me and criticize me for such.
Evidently, crypto-related crime cases like this one in Brazil is the reason why regulators globally are stepping in the create rules for the industry.