Ciaran Ryan
3 minute read
9 Jan 2021
7:05 am

Bitcoin scheme claims 1st victim

Ciaran Ryan

A bitcoin investment scheme offering returns of up to 10% a month was placed in provisional liquidation in December after failing to pay out members requesting withdrawals.

Bitcoin tokens.

The collapse of Mirror Trading International (MTI), now under provisional liquidation, has claimed its first commercial casualty in the form of Finalmente Global, which has announced it’s closing down due to MTI’s demise.

MTI, a bitcoin investment scheme offering returns of up to 10% a month, was placed in provisional liquidation in December after failing to pay out members requesting withdrawals.

Moneyweb understands an application for Finalmente’s provisional liquidation is being prepared and will be filed in the high court within days.

Finalmente is purported to be an internet advertising company that could generate returns of 106% by buying bulk ads and selling them for a profit.

It apparently did this by encouraging investors to “lend” bitcoin, much of which was channelled to MTI.

Cyber security and crypto expert Vaughn Victor, part of the team representing two Finalmente clients bringing the court application, says it’s reckoned the company funnelled 20 000 to 30 000 clients to MTI.

Like MTI, Finalmente was a multi-level marketing scheme offering 1-3% referral marketing fees on “downline” customers introduced to the scheme.

One Finalmente customer told Moneyweb he had no idea of any link between MTI and Finalmente.

A 22 December 2020 e-mail sent to members from CEO Kobus van der Merwe, seen by Moneyweb, supposedly puts sunlight between the two companies.

“The current state of affairs of Mirror Trading International is that of Mirror Trading International and not Finalmente Global.

“The concerning matters of Mirror Trading International do not affect the daily dealings of Finalmente Global.

“Finalmente Global merely advertised Mirror Trading International for and on behalf of certain business leaders (who bought and paid for these services). The association between the two companies ends at that. Nothing more….”

The Moneyweb reader says:

“I was under the impression that they bulk buy internet advertising space and sell it at a profit. Now I think that the ‘advertising’ leg of their business was to pay influencers to create an impression that they can be trusted, knowing that people will do research and most likely believe the review videos they will come across on Youtube.”

Earlier this week, Finalmente posted the following notice:

“Dear Members. It is with heavy heart that we have to inform you that due to the demise of MTI, we too, have lost a substantial amount of money, not only due to the investment we have/had with them but also the revenue stream of advertising.

“As most of you know our business was advertising based, MTI being one of our largest clients in that aspect of our business.

“Due to the false impression of our association with MTI a large portion of our other clients have also cancelled our mandate.

“Due to this we have lost a substantial portion of our income, as a result we are no longer lucrative enough to continue trading and we have had to retrench our staff and suspend all further trade…”

Moneyweb was unable to reach Finalmente for comment.

This article first appeared on Moneyweb and was republished with permission.

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