MANILA, Philippines – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement and Investor Protection Department here recently warned the public against investing in Airbit Club, a company reportedly selling investments in cloud-mining contracts. Go88 Ventures Inc. is a marketing affiliate of Airbit Club in the Philippines.
According to SEC’s records, Airbit Club is not a registered corporation or partnership in the Philippines while Go88 Ventures is registered as a corporation with the primary purpose of engaging in wholesale business. Both entities are not authorized to solicit investments from the public or sell securities.
According to AirBit Club’s website, the company was created with the goal of educating the public about all things about bitcoin. The SEC said in its advisory issued last September 4 that both companies “entice the public to invest by offering online subscription packages which allegedly allow an investor to earn passive income through regular daily rewards, or active income through recruitment of downlines.”
Using the Howey Test to identify whether an offering is an investment contract, the SEC found that Airbit Club’s scheme is considered an investment and thus should be registered with the SEC. It also found the entity’s offering is covered by another advisory earlier issued this year by the regulator which classifies cloud-mining contracts as an investment.
Sellers, brokers, dealers or agents of the companies selling or convincing people to invest in the investment scheme including solicitations and recruitment through the internet may be prosecuted and held criminally liable and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or penalty of 21 years of imprisonment or both. Furthermore, the names of all those involved will be reported by the SEC to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) so that the appropriate penalties and/or taxes be correspondingly assessed.
The SEC encourages the public to exercise caution before investing in supposed cloud-mining contracts and other Internet-based investments. They also advised those who have knowledge or information about any business transactions or investment opportunities to report such activity to contact the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department of the SEC at (02)818-6337 or (02)818-6047 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.