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The FBI is currently seeking information from victims of the BitConnect ponzi scheme — if you believe you were a victim or participated in BitConnect, you can contact the FBI here.
BitConnect is a ponzi scheme, or a fraudulent investment scam.
What Was the BitConnect (BCC) Ponzi Scheme?
BitConnect (BCC) was an allegedly open source cryptocurrency and the native token of the now-defunct ponzi scheme BitConnect.
Launched in February 2016, shortly after the project itself, BCC aimed to function as the means by which participants in the BitConnect scheme invested and received payouts.
Its tenure lasted almost two years, during which it hit all-time highs of $471 in December 2017, at the same time as Bitcoin’s run to just under $20,000.
Thereafter, legal problems with BitConnect saw its organizers exit the scheme, leaving investors with nothing and the value of BCC at virtually zero, where it has remained ever since.
At its height, BitConnect’s market cap was $2.5 billion, with estimates varying as to how much its founders gained when it shut down soon afterwards.
Who Are the Founders of the BitConnect Ponzi Scheme?
As with all ponzi schemes, the true identities of the founders of BitConnect and the developers of BCC remain shrouded in mystery.
Various figures associated with the scheme, including Indian citizens Satish Kumbhani, Mahendra Chaudhari and Divyesh Darji, have come to light as part of the legal fallout from BitConnect’s demise.
In October 2020, another alleged promoter of BitConnect, this time Australian John Bigatton, was charged with offering unlicensed financial services and five other counts related to his involvement. Unrelated to the BitConnect charges, Bigatton’s wife disappeared several months after BitConnect collapsed.
Carlos Matos, perhaps the best-known figure related to BitConnect, was not part of its development and merely engaged in PR activities on others’ behalf. Matos has since stated he was unaware BitConnect was a ponzi scheme and that he also lost money — a total of $25,610 — as a result of investing in it.
How Did the BitConnect Ponzi Scheme Work?
BitConnect touted itself as a means of solving real-world financial problems using cryptocurrency and bypassing banks.
BCC was a proof-of-stake (PoS) cryptocurrency token with a notional maximum supply of 28 million BCC. 2.6 million BCC were planned to come from mining, while the remainder would be added as a result of PoS staking activities from network participants.
Making use of the more altruistic arguments used by proponents of legitimate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), the scheme hooked millions of investors and built up a market cap which topped $2.5 billion in late 2017.
In reality, BitConnect’s unique selling point did not exist, as under the hood, its foundation was that of any other pyramid scheme. An investor would provide Bitcoin on the premise that interest would be worth the trouble almost immediately, and earn dividends by signing other users up in addition to sky-high payouts.
From a starting value of near zero, BCC reached highs of $471 in December 2017. Two months later, once the founders had all exited, the token was practically worthless once more.
At the time of its collapse in February 2018, BitConnect did achieve the dubious honor of being one of the largest cryptocurrency scams in history, rivalling only the likes of OneCoin and PlusToken in terms of illicit gains.
All “official” information about the token is no longer available, as BitConnect’s website has long been offline.
Do Not Buy BitConnect (BCC)
BCC is no longer tradable on any bonafide exchanges thanks to the founders’ exit scam and ensuing legal difficulties.
To learn about Bitcoin and legitimate cryptocurrencies, check out CoinMarketCap’s easy guide to buying Bitcoin.