According to reports from Zimbabwe, a person named Martin Mhlanga, the mastermind behind Cryptoshares’ bitcoin pyramid scheme, has disappeared along with over $ 6 million in investor money. In addition to the disappearance of Mhlanga, the people who are believed to be managing Cryptoshares’ social media channels have also disappeared.
Unrealistic Cryptoshare promises
As a local report explains, Mhlanga had successfully used a series of unrealistic promises to attract many unsuspecting people to invest. For example, the report explains that many of the victims were lured into investment by allegations that the first Cryptoshares investors received a monthly membership payment of $ 2,000. Investors were also promised a payout of double the amount of the initial investment.
Assuming they too would receive the same monthly payment, some of the Mhlanga victims are believed to have sold their property just to raise the money they needed. Others are said to have borrowed the required initial investment from banks.
However, as September 1st – the day investors were supposed to receive their payout – rolled around, it dawned on many Cryptoshares investors that they had been scammed. In fact, a Twitter user, Tendai Tomu, pointed out that the first signs of the company’s collapse were seen towards the end of August when Cryptoshares struggled to pay investors.
While the report suggests that some Cryptoshares investors reported this scam to law enforcement, many in Zimbabwe’s crypto space insist that such a move won’t do much. They point to other Bitcoin pyramid schemes like Bitcoin Interchange, which similarly collapsed after many investors flee.
Stolen funds cannot be recovered
Meanwhile, some users like Tendai Tomu on Twitter firmly believe that victims of this latest crypto pyramid scheme will never get their money back. Tomu said:
Sad indeed! I don’t think the funds will be paid back because keep in mind that he paid early investors with deposits from new ones so the equation will never even out. The best that people can do is learn from it.
Others like attorney Prosper Mwedzi have suggested reporting the scam on cryptocurrency exchanges. Still others, however, insist that such scams be repeated if more is not done to educate people on the fundamentals of investing.
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