Fake BlackRock XRP Filing Referred to Delaware Department of Justice

A check of the process for registering a trust in the state apparently leaves a ready opening for bad actors.

AccessTimeIconNov 14, 2023 at 8:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 15, 2023 at 4:09 p.m. UTC

Delaware's Department of Justice may be investigating a fake filing Monday that suggested asset management giant BlackRock (BLK) was prepping the launch of a spot XRP exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The filing, which still appeared on the Delaware Department of State's Division of Corporations website as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, is largely identical to last week's legitimate paperwork from BlackRock regarding its iShares Ethereum Trust product. That filing appeared last week just hours before the company submitted an application to U.S regulators for a spot ether ETF.

The fake XRP filing in minutes sent the token higher by more than 10% before a BlackRock spokesperson told CoinDesk it was not attempting to launch such a fund.

A spokesperson for the Delaware Department of State told CoinDesk on Tuesday that the matter had been referred to the state's Department of Justice.

"Our only comment is that this matter has been referred to the Delaware Department of Justice," the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice did not immediately return a request for comment.

Questions have risen about the level of difficulty for filing for a Trust under a false name and entity and the verification process behind it. According to the Delaware website, there are seven steps required to form a new business entity, all of which seem to be able to be done by filling out interactive PDF forms on the website.

The most important requirement seems to be that an entity must obtain a registered agent in the State of Delaware, which can either be a resident or a business entity that is legally allowed to do business in the state. However, it seems that if the name and address are all that’s required, it could easily be copied from another filing. In this case, the pretender appeared to do little more than copy/paste the registered agent – Daniel Schwieger, a managing director at BlackRock according to his LinkedIn profile – from the legitimate filing.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.

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