SEC Accuses 2 Firms of Crypto Pump-and-Dump Scheme

The complaint alleges the two companies pumped the price of their cryptocurrency by falsely claiming they had acquired $10 billion in gold bullion to back it.

AccessTimeIconSep 30, 2022 at 4:21 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:14 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges against Bermuda-based Arbitrade Ltd and Canada-based Cryptobontix, as well as their principals, for carrying out an alleged pump-and-dump scheme involving a crypto asset called “Dignity” or “DIG,” according to a press release.

According to the complaint, the two firms falsely claimed between May 2018 and January 2019 that Arbitrade had acquired and received title to $10 billion in gold bullion, and that the company planned to back each DIG token issued and sold to investors with $1 worth of this gold.

In reality, however, the SEC claims the gold acquisition transaction was a ruse to boost demand for DIG, allowing the company’s principals to sell at least $36.8 million of DIG, including to U.S. investors, at inflated prices.

The SEC is charging the defendants with violating the antifraud and securities registration provisions of the federal securities laws.

The complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against all of the defendants, as well as officer-and-director bars against the individual defendants.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Nelson Wang

Nelson Wang was CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about