New Zealand Watchdog Warns Investors Over Marketplace ICO

New Zealand's financial markets watchdog has warned citizens from investing in an initial coin offering for an online marketplace.

Nov 29, 2017 at 11:15 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:12 a.m. UTC

New Zealand's financial markets watchdog has warned citizens from investing in a new initial coin offering (ICO).

Reportedly run by 19-year-old Ashutoush Sharma, online marketplace Sell My Good launched the ICO this week with the aim of raising 220 million New Zealand dollars (US$152 million).

According to local news source NZ Herald, the ICO, which is selling a unique token called SMG Cash, has already raised millions via the fundraising effort.

However, the Herald's investigation suggests that some of the company's claims were untrue on its website, and that it inflated its traffic volume and the number of users by "a factor of 10,000."

Although the investigation only found around 400 listed items on the site, Sharma stood by the claims, the report indicates.

Since the ICO launch, the country's Financial Markets Authority has weighed in, saying it recommends that "New Zealand investors do not subscribe to this offer."

The Sell My Good ICO page could not be accessed by CoinDesk on Nov. 28.

Warning sign image via Shutterstock

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