Supposed AI-Based Crypto Token Using Elon Musk's Image Targeted by Texas Securities Board

Five U.S. states are ordering TruthGPT Coin promoters to cease and desist using images of Elon Musk, Changpeng Zhao and Vitalik Buterin to promote what they describe as an investment scam.

AccessTimeIconMay 4, 2023 at 7:42 a.m. UTC
Updated May 4, 2023 at 3:37 p.m. UTC
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Texas and other U.S. state financial regulators have ordered a crypto "investment scam" purporting to use artificial intelligence (AI) to cease all activity in an order from Wednesday.

The scheme operated by Horatiu Caragaceanu, The Shark of Wall Street and Hedge4.ai markets coins known as truthGPT Coin (TRUTH). The token is using images of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, said the Texas State Securities Board, which was joined by counterparts in New Jersey, Alabama, Montana and Kentucky.

“Artificial intelligence is buzzing,” Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles said in a statement. “Bad actors continue their attempts to capitalize on this widespread public interest.”

The truthGPT coin claims to use machine learning to predict future crypto prices, and involves offering unregistered or non-permitted securities to Texas residents, the regulator said. Caragaceanu is based in California and Bucharest and has previously promised outlandish returns from coin offerings that now have zero value, it added.

Other ventures by Caragaceanu, The Shark of Wall Street and Hedge4.ai have also been named by the regulators, including the GPTX token and Hedge 4 non-fungible tokens (NFT).

The owner of Hedge4.ai’s Telegram channel told CoinDesk that the initiative is “not a scam investment” and that it does “not sell GPTX to Americans.”

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.


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