Is Ultra BTC Mining Scam? Texas Regulators Issue Cease and Desist Order

Is Ultra BTC Mining firm scam or reliable? The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) has taken emergency action against the cloud mining company for issuing unregistered securities. 

April 11, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The TSSB and the Alabama Securities (ASC) Commission has issued a cease and desist order against what it alleges is a fraudulent bitcoin mining company. The state regulator asserts that Ultra BTC Mining has been selling illegal investment schemes. The firm has also been claiming charitable donations that cannot be verified.

Ultra BTC Mining firm allegedly offered unrealistic returns

According to the order, Ultra Mining has allegedly raised $18 million by promising huge profits to naive investors. The state regulator states:

The company is promising eye-opening returns. According to the order, they are telling potential investors that a $10,000 investment in computing power will return nearly $10,500 per year. A $50,000 investment will return nearly $52,000 per year.

Additionally, the Securities Board asserts that the company and its agent, Laura Branch, are claiming to have donated $100,000 to UNICEF for COVID-19 relief. Nevertheless, they have refused to provide verification of the donation.

Read: California Governor Mentions Bitcoin Scam During COVID-19 Speech

A key element to this investigation is the board’s assertion that Ultra Mining will not give details into the material facts about its operation. The company has apparently refused to disclose where the mining takes place. The firm has also refused to divulge the relationships it has to mine pools, or what hardware it uses. In other words, the regulator believes the entire operation could be nothing more than a Ponzi-style scam.

Regulator asserts securities fraud

Notably, the order contains a statement that Ultra Mining is engaging in operations that violate relevant securities laws. Specifically, it states that the hash power being sold qualifies as a security due to it being an investment with potential return.

The issue over whether or not cryptocurrencies qualify as securities are complex. Moreover, it has yet to be fully defined by financial regulators. The charge against Ultra Mining sidesteps this concern by addressing the hash power used in mining. However, this too raises questions.

Bitcoin mining is growing rapidly in Texas, owing to the Lone Star State’s cheap power and deregulated electricity market. By treating hash power as a security, the state’s financial regulators are opening the door to a range of new legal complexities that could interfere with these operations.

Related: Philippines SEC Rules Crypto Mining Contracts are Securities

At the moment, state lawmakers eager to lure more mining operators. Hence, it can be assumed that the government will be quick to better define how cryptocurrency and hash power investment should be legally defined. Nevertheless, doing so will not be easy. The reason? Cryptocurrencies represent a new asset class that do not easily fit into existing securities categories.

Do you think the Texas regulator’s latest cease and desist order is justified? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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