It’s a sad day for anyone looking to literally throw their money away. Bitcoiin, the Ethereum-based Bitcoin knockoff, has run into legal trouble in New Jersey.
But don’t let those pesky regulators dissuade you from investing in the sketchy startup. Steven Seagal, the faded VHS tape at the back of America’s closet, is here to extend a reassuring roundhouse kick, announcing his role as the worldwide ambassador of Biitcoin on February 20.
If you’ve been hesitant about betting on yet another shitcoin, you can rest assured that it comes thoroughly vetted and fully-endorsed by Seagal, the notoriously discerning star of as few as six action films and one reality tv series per year.
Navigating the nuances of crypto can be somewhat intimidating for those not already actively involved in the community, requiring an understanding of enigmatic terminology like “private keys” and “hash rate,” the courage to ride out the roller coaster-like volatility of the market, and an almost absurd amount of faith. Or, you could just take the word of Steven Seagal. I mean, he wears a kimono, he must know what he’s whispering about.
The Garden State, sadly, isn’t as confident in either Bitcoiin or Seagal. In fact, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities issued a cease & desist order yesterday, effectively haulting bitcoiin’s initial coin offering (ICO) to New Jersey residents. The order alleges that Bitcoiin has been selling securities without registration to do so in the state, and highlighted the anonymity of the developers involved. One might say Bitcoiin is On Deadly Ground.
“Bitcoiin’s developers, officers, managers, employees, controllers, and/or directors are anonymous,” the order stated. It went on to state, “Bitcoiin is fraudulently offering unregistered securities in violation of the Securities Law.”
The Bureau also took issue with Seagal’s endorsement, noting that while Bitcoiin’s website features a disclaimer stating that the actor holds no stake in the project, there is no available information on any compensation he may have received as a brand ambassador.
Regulators also took a shot at Seagal’s credibility, stating, “The Bitcoiin Websites do not disclose what expertise, if any, Steven Seagal has to ensure that the Bitcoiin investments are appropriate and in compliance with federal and state securities laws.” It seems they’re unaware that Seagal is Above the Law and Hard to Kill (That’s the last B-rated Buddha reference I’ll make, I promise).
“The Bureau’s actions today are a reminder to investors that while celebrity endorsements can add to the excitement and hype of cryptocurrency-related investments, they do not guarantee that an investment is sound or even legal,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal stated.
Users on Reddit and BitcoinTalk have been posting allegations of Bitcoiin being a Ponzi scheme, with the name’s similarity to Bitcoin being a not-so-subtle tactic to confuse unwitting investors. It’s unclear yet how many rubes have fallen for the gimmick, as Bitcoiin hasn’t released any information disclosing their financials. However, an enthusiastic banner on their website claims they’ve reached their $75,000 soft cap.
Seagal hasn’t responded to this development yet, but he did recently post this tweet that seems to perfectly capture the nature of the situation.
“Where words fail. Music speaks.”