North Carolina Orders Crypto Mining Firm to Halt Share Sale

Leigh Cuen
Mar 6, 2018 at 18:45 UTC  |  Updated  Mar 6, 2018 at 20:03 UTC

North Carolina's government has sent a cease-and-desist order to a cryptocurrency company they say is selling unregistered securities in the U.S. state.

The North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division issued a temporary cease-and-desist order on March 2 against the European project PowerMining Pool. The move comes just under two months after that department issued a cease-and-desist order that faulted the now-defunct investment scheme BitConnect for failing to register its offerings as securities.

Documents released by the state allege that PMP utilized problematic sales tactics. They also said the local PMP campaign violated the state's Securities Act with business practices that "threaten immediate and irreparable public harm."

PMP sells "shares" for bitcoin, claiming to mine seven different cryptocurrencies on behalf of its shareholders. The startup's site makes claims about shareholders reaping "totally passive" profits just hours after setting up an account and depositing bitcoin. Akin to other investment schemes, people are encouraged to solicit others and are promised additional rewards as a bonus.

Notably, according to the order, PMP affiliates in North Carolina used a range of methods to market the sale, including social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and even local classified ads.

That said, it's reportedly unclear if some of the names attached to the project are real people.

"The Securities Division has been unable to confirm whether Andrew Conti and Mike Conti, of central Europe, are real people," the order also states.

The move appears to be part of a broader effort to curb unlawful cryptocurrency investment schemes. As CoinDesk previously reported, several similar orders were issued in Texas and New Jersey over the past few months.

Crosswalk sign image via Shutterstock

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ScamsMining PoolsBitcoinsecurities fraudsecurities regulatorcryptocurrency mining

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