(TNS) — Texas security regulators warned consumers about investing in USI-Tech Limited, a Dubai-based firm promoting low-risk, high-return investments tied to Bitcoin, an unregulated form of virtual currency.
The Texas State Securities Board issued a cease and desist order this week against the overseas company for selling investment contracts to mine Bitcoin, referring to the significant computer power and energy consumption it takes to track Bitcoin trading activity. The agency said that USI-Tech and two U.S.-based sales agents are soliciting investors in Texas through Craigslist advertisements, YouTube videos and websites.
Neither the company nor its sales agents could be immediately reached for comment.
State regulators allege that USI-Tech claims its Bitcoin platform “consistently provides returns of up to 150 percent per year” and that investment returns do not depend on the underlying value of Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin, which opened Thursday at $16,454.72, has doubled in value over the past month, according to CoinDesk, which tracks prices.
Neither USI-Tech nor the sales agents are registered to sell securities in Texas. The investment is not registered in Texas.
The State Securities Board also alleges that USI-Tech is telling potential investors that they can make even more money by convincing others to invest. Investors can earn “up to 35 percent commissions” through its “unique referral marketing plan,” according to the securities board.
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