Actor Steven Seagal made headlines in February when he endorsed the "Bitcoiin" cryptocurrency, but his role as brand ambassador has apparently come to an end.
In a March 26 statement, the group behind the Bitcoiin cryptocurrency said that both Seagal and the "founders" of the project are exiting in light of the token sale's completion.
The post stated:
"As Bitcoiin goes through the conversion phase from token to mineable coin we wish to advise that Bitcoiin will join the likes of the original Bitcoin and become a truly open source. Therefore a big thank you to the Founders and to our Brand Ambassador whom we wish all the best in their future endeavors. However, from this point on Bitcoiin will function within its ecosystem and become a genuinely anonymous cryptocurrency with no individual or individuals having control over the entity!"
As previously reported, outside of Seagal, it hasn't been clear who is exactly behind the project, though BehindMLM, a blog that covers multi-level marketing schemes, has profiled some of the efforts to promote the token sale following a cease-and-desist order from regulators in New Jersey. A now-deleted webinar, originally posted to YouTube, had previously claimed that the team behind Bitcoiin wished to remain anonymous.
The exits also come days after regulators in the state of Tennessee issued a warning to investors about Bitcoiin, citing the action in New Jersey.
Seagal has made no public comment regarding his exit via Twitter, where he has posted a number of promotional messages during the Bitcoiin token sale. The last one teased news about a forthcoming exchange listing, though it's not clear which market he was referring to.
No staking here, says Bitcoiin
The statement issued Monday highlighted the push toward open-source development, though efforts to do this publicly seem to have only begun earlier this year. A GitHub page associated with Bitcoiin features a fork of the Go-Ethereum (geth) client, listing changes that appear to be largely cosmetic.
For example, a commit from nine days ago features changes like adjusting the email address for ethereum founder Jeffrey Wilcke from "email@example.com" to "firstname.lastname@example.org."
The press release also emphasized that, following the token sale, "neither STAKING nor REFERRALS will exist in the blockchain or the Bitcoiin ecosystem." The group blames "the media which believe in sensationalism instead of reality" for spreading this idea, though Bitcoiin's own statement from February 5 outlined how "Bitcoiin Staking" would let "anyone holding Bitcoiin in their wallet...receive interest on their balance in return for helping maintain the security of the network."
"The 1% reward is generated through our mining eco-system and hence we are able to provide the guaranteed monthly return," the statement explained at the time.
It's not clear how much money has been raised during the ICO, though the group claimed earlier this month that its $75 million "soft cap" had been reached.
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