Blockchain.com, a long-time provider of Bitcoin wallet, exchange, and block explorer, has filed a complaint in the US Federal Court against blockchain.io, which is purportedly using their name to launch an illegal initial coin offering (ICO). Blockchain.io is operated by Pierre Noizat, the same person who owned Paymium and Instawallet, which went out of business in 2013.
Paymium operated Instawallet, Bitcoin-Central, and Paytunia, and during 2013 they claimed that Instawallet was hacked and they would be re-building their security infrastructure and then re-opening. However, they never refunded any users, certainly never re-opened, and disappeared. This was combined with a failure to respond to user’s requests, especially the simple request to see a police report, which Noizat originally said had been filed. Many Instawallet users and other community members think Instawallet is an obvious exit scam.
Now the former owner of Paymium and Instawallet, Noizat, is happy to put his name on blockchain.io as the owner, which raises suspicions from early Bitcoiners who have not forgotten. The blockchain.io site uses a similar domain name, similar logo, similar color scheme, and a similar motto, making it look like its actually owned by blockchain.com. Blockchain.com has received numerous inquiries about whether they are running the blockchain.io ICO, especially since in social media channels blockchain.io is pretending to be blockchain.com. In order to protect their reputation, blockchain.com is going to court before this ICO starts. As of 23 September 2018, there are 3 days until the blockchain.io ICO.
More indications that this blockchain.io ICO is a scam are blockchain.io says they registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is required under law, but blockchain.com found that they didn’t register. This means anyone who invests in the blockchain.io ICO won’t be allowed to legally trade the tokens. Also, blockchain.com has reviewed the technologies offered by blockchain.io, and says some of them don’t exist. All signs point to a scam that is trying to use blockchain.com’s likeness and reputation to trick investors.
Note from the Editor:
On 25 September 2018, Bitcoin News received an e-mail response representing the official reply of Pierre Noizat, CEO and co-founder of Paymium. The reply is published below:
“Paymium, successfully operating a BTC/EUR crypto-fiat exchange since 2013 and serving 170,000 customers, is currently closing its private ICO to accelerate the rollout of Blockchain.io. The public sale for this new cryptocurrency exchange will start September 27. The domain name Blockchain.io was registered by Paymium way back in April 2012, and the Blockchain.io project launch was publicly advertised in the press months ago. 3 days before the beginning of the sale and a few weeks away from the official release of our platform, it is no surprise to us to be challenged by some potential competitors, for obvious reasons. We condemn this approach that doesn’t comply with the crypto-community values.
Moreover, Blockchain.io disputes the accusation of making false and misleading statements. What is at stake is the protection of our name, our reputation, and our loyal investors and customers. For these reasons, our lawyers will answer point by point the claims made.
As for our ICO, we already provided early investors with the alpha version of our platform which is ready to be launched just after the public sale in November. The name blockchain.io is the legal property of Paymium and the public sale will start as planned on September 27.”
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