KEY POINTS

  • The Philippines' Department of Finance warns the public against Bitcoin Revolution
  • Bitcoin Revolution is a scheme that promises as much as 300% return on investment quickly
  • The Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission said anyone acting on behalf of the illegal investment scheme will be  penalized

The Philippines’ Department of Finance (DOF) issued a new warning against Bitcoin Revolution, an online investment scam that uses names of Philippine officials to dupe investors into putting money in an unregistered scheme.

Bitcoin Revolution is a cryptocurrency scam that reached the Philippines through fake online advertisements. It used famous politicians and celebrities purportedly endorsing the scheme’s 300% return on investment per day for a minimum investment of $250. The scam claimed to create millionaires in less than two months through its software that can “take advantage of market moves.”

In the past, it used even the name of senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao in their fake advertisements.

The DOF warned the public of Bitcoin Revolution’s fake statements, after receiving reports the scheme is using names of DOF officials and even that of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to lure investors into falling for the scam through fake information on social media.

The DOF said the government is “monitoring the public space” such as social media for such schemes. “We will take appropriate legal and regulatory action,” the DOF said in a statement against those behind the unauthorized investment activity. The agency also encouraged the public to report illegal investment schemes to the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines.

The commission, which operates under DOF, already issued two public advisories against Bitcoin Revolution. In the 2nd advisory, the commission found the scheme is continually operating despite the previous advisory on March 20. The agency said Bitcoin Revolution has all the “red flags” and all possible indications of a “Ponzi Scheme” using websites “similar to those use by cryptocurrency scams.” 

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission noted all investment activities in the country must first be registered with the commission before soliciting money from the public. However, Bitcoin Revolution does not have the license to solicit investments nor does it have the license to operate in the Philippines. The scheme is also using a digital exchange platform that must first be approved by the commission. Lastly, because Bitcoin Revolution relates to cryptocurrencies, such undertaking must first be registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank. 

To sum up, Bitcoin Revolution violated too many Philippine regulations on top of operating a cryptocurrency scam, which is already enough for a public advisory to be issued. 

The commission warned anyone acting on behalf of Bitcoin Revolution will be penalized for violation of the country’s Securities and Regulation Code (SRC). The penalty is $100,000 in Philippine peso and a maximum imprisonment time of 21 years. Additionally, the offenders will also be penalized under an implementing rule of the recently-passed “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” that punishes individuals who take advantage of the ongoing public health crisis situation due to COVID-19 by scamming people. 

Scam sign Scammers are using social media platforms to launch finanical scams. Photo: geralt/Pixabay