Outrage among investors in regulator-flagged ICO

Regulators are treating it as a scam, but the supposed victims don't see it that way

Outrage among investors in regulator-flagged ICO
Many would say that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was right to go after PlexCorps’ initial coin offering. The issuance had all the hallmarks of a scam: seemingly impossible promises of returns, false statements about its operations, and the concealment of the company founder’s identity.

The last detail may be the most damning, as PlexCorps was founded by Dominic Lacroix, a man who has been previously censured by Quebec’s securities regulator. Despite not being registered with US authorities, his company has reportedly raised $15 million from investors around the world. And according to the SEC complaint, the investments actually funded personal expenses by Lacroix and his partner, Sabrina Paradis-Royer.

But based on activity on the company’s Facebook page, a significant number of investors are siding with PlexCorps. As of the evening of Dec. 7, hundreds of supporters have signed on to a petition supporting the company, reported the Financial Times.

The investors said they had understood the terms laid out in the white paper released by PlexCorps, which included promises of 1,354% within 29 days. They added that they invested in the tokens knowing that there was no guarantee of a price increase, and they could lose all the money they put in.

“It’s kind of like walking into a casino,” said US-based IT specialist Nathanial Robbins, who was among the signees. “You want to walk out with big bucks, but … only carry with you what you can afford to lose.”

As for the attempts to hide Lacroix’s identity, Robbins said cryptocurrencies are all about anonymity. He said because the name of the founder (or founders) of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is an alias, there should be no reason why PlexCorps can’t have the same opacity.

A UK-based investor, Paul Hughes, said the only one that’s hurt PlexCorps investors is the SEC. Hughes is unable to work because of a back injury and heart disease, so he decided to get into cryptocurrencies through PlexCoin. Since the SEC brought its action, PlexCoin’s price has dropped from 12 US cents to less than two.

While regulators are getting ready to crack down on cryptocurrencies, some buyers assert that they don’t want or need any protection. To them, it seems, cryptocurrencies are a thrilling investment opportunity — and they’re willing to sign a waiver if that’s what it takes to get in.

“God bless you, PlexCoin. No pain, no gain,” wrote one Thailand-based investor.

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