Bitconnect – 5 Years After The $2 Billion Scam

Bitconnect was one of the most Successful cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes Of all time stealing over two billion Dollars from customers while only Operating for less than two years in January 2018 when the scam was finally Revealed the company and its most Well-known partner Carlos Matos became a Living meme with h3h3 making a video About it and even having a skit about it Done on the John Oliver show it's hard To believe that it's now been five years Half a decade since this Ponzi scheme Collapsed and today we're going to take A closer look at just what this scam was What happened to the biggest promoters Of the platform and why the founder is Still not in jail bitconnect was started In late 2016 with minor success but it Wasn't until Bitcoin the top Cryptocurrency went from less than a Thousand dollars to almost twenty Thousand dollars in late 2017 that the Big connect scam started to take off the Premise of the scam was that you would Buy the big connect token with the much More valuable Bitcoin and then you would Give the big connect tokens back to the Bitconnect company who would give your Coins to their trading bot and would Trade them on crypto exchanges the Bikinet company claimed their trading Bot was the best in the world and would Guarantee daily Returns on your money of

Up to one percent every single day now a Few problems exist with this scenario First the big connect company was making You give them an asset that had way more Value in exchange for a coin they Created the bitconnect token they did This because they controlled the supply Of the bitconnect token and could Manipulate the price of their coin way Easier than the price of Bitcoin the Second problem was the fact that they Didn't have a trading bot at all the Entire thing was a made-up excuse to Justify how they could offer a one Percent daily return on your money the Claim that a trading bot was doing all The work instead of the truth if they Were using money from new investors to Pay the returns of old investors was Fabricated so people wouldn't so easily See the truth that this was obviously a Ponzi scheme a one percent daily return On your money isn't something that any Bank or legitimate investment would ever Offer because it simply isn't possible Possible if it were true even a small Investment of a few thousand dollars Constantly reinvesting the daily Interest would make you a millionaire in Just a few short years some of the Biggest players in the beginning scam Were YouTubers who would show their Crypto wallets constantly grow from not Only the daily interest but also the

Referral commissions they were receiving From other people signing up for Bitconnect using their affiliate links This is my Instagram introduction it's Been a while since I've posted but I Used to always post my Bitcoin wallet on There to show off and my last time I Posted said for Bitcoin now I have 54 And this is only about half of what I Have the other half is over here on uh Bit connect right so you want to check This out this is where I earn all my Bitcoin I don't buy Bitcoin I earn it Have 34 sitting there I just earned Another there there right so you want to Know about bitconnect you want to check Out my YouTube channel in November of 2017 the walls began to close in on this Scam when the UK government issue shoot An ultimatum to be connect to prove it Wasn't a scam or its UK assets would be Seized a month later the state of Texas Issued a cease and desist letter to pick Connect with increased pressure from Governments around the world and the Decrease in bitcoin's price by almost 50 Percent in just a few months bitconnect Shut down operations on January 16 2018. Following the big connect company Running away with everyone's crypto many People who were in the program refused To believe it was actually a scam and The only reason it shut down was because The government agencies had been upset

That the company was helping everyday People make so much money this Ultimately led to one of the biggest Memes that came out of this when Trayvon James who made potentially Millions Promoting the scam tried to convince his Followers that they didn't actually lose Their money and bitconnect could come Back everyone listen up you didn't lose Your money Now you you have your Laughs Technically you kind of lost your money With over 2 billion lost by those who Invested in the platform many people Were angry and frustrated with those at The top of the pyramid who would Encourage their followers to join using Their affiliate links for bitconnect Most of the top of affiliate members Were Youtubers with Trayvon James Craig Grant Ryan Hildreth and crypto Nick Being the influencers who ultimately Took the most heat for their role in Promoting the scam many people outside The YouTube World such as the infamous Carlos Matos and Glenn Arcaro also were Targeted for their connection to Bitconnect as it's been said in the past The wheels of Justice turned slowly and While some of these individuals have Been punished others have escaped Justice and are still living free of Punishment for their connection to Big

Connect first let's take a look at what Happened to Trayvon James Trayvon had Been promoting crypto videos on YouTube Long before bitconnect but once he saw How profitable it was to promote from His friend Craig Grant he decided to Vote his channel primarily to promoting Bitconnect following the platform's Collapse Trayvon had a bit of a Breakdown and would do live streams Admitted to being questioned by the FBI And the SEC eventually Trevon believed He was in the clear and reached out to Coffeezilla to do an interview in January 2021 where he talked about being Questioned and pressured by the FBI to Give back the crypto he owned to the Victims of bitconnect so the SEC uh they Reached out to me and we're going back And forth and then they want me to you Know settle And I didn't even get a lawyer like uh I Got a lawyer for my state case and then When I went to I went to the state to Have my testimony and I realized how Little my lawyer did I was like man I Probably didn't even need that guy it Was a waste of money so then the SEC the Federal SEC they started reaching out to Me after that I went they gave me a Subpoena to come testify in New York Right beside the World Trade Center this Is like the real thing I went in there By myself testified and then they

Started asking me they asked me Questions a lot of people think I Stitched on people I didn't snitch on Anybody I didn't I didn't know anything But then they started talking about Settling and they were trying to get me For some Securities Law from 19 some law From 1940 something man probably 1940s unfortunately for Trayvon his Troubles with the government were not Over and four months after his interview With coffee Zilla he was charged by the SEC for promoting an unregistered Securities asset four other individual Overcharge along with Trayvon and three Of them settled immediately with the SEC And paid the fines however Trayvon did Not settle as he had claimed in the past To have lost over a hundred Bitcoin and A hack and was unable to do so the FBI Wanted to talk about my stolen Bitcoin So I got a whole nother stories I got Hacked for 111 Bitcoin when Bitcoin Maybe about seven thousand dollars I got Heck for a 111 Um Bitcoin a lot of people think I faked It but the FBI and them they know for Sure that that is gone so I got a Hacked for 111 Bitcoin that's what they Talked to me about and they talked about Picking up a little bit and then after That wait wait hold on hold on that's Three million dollars right now don't Remind me

I tried so hard now since that initial Filing against him by the SEC in May of 2021 I haven't been able to find any Documents that say Trevon settled with The government or that the case had been Closed so from the information I have it Seems that the case against Trayvon by The SEC is still going curiously enough Trevon to this day is one of the only Promoters of bitconnect that continues To make videos about crypto and has Promoted several other scams since then Including a blatant scam called proof of Weak hands it really is amazing to me That this guy doesn't seem to have Learned anything from his scandal being Connected to bitconnect and just keeps Promoting some of the shadiest crypto Coins even after being sued by the SEC For his past scam promotion next up Let's take a look at probably the most Controversial person on the list and That would be Craig Grant if you watched Any kind of crypto content on YouTube in 2017 you saw ads from this guy promoting Bitconnect Craig spent hundreds of Thousands of dollars to get his ads all Over the platform and It ultimately Netted him massive returns as he was one Of the top players in bitconnect there Is no telling exactly how much he made From Big connect interest payments and Affiliate cuts but the estimates are in The millions shortly after the collapse

Of bitconnect Craig Grant just like Trayvon James claimed all of his Bitcoin Was stolen in a SIM card back on his Phone Craig continued to make videos on His channel talking about how broke he Was and then he had to start delivering Pizzas in order to support his family And I see I've been getting a lot of Comments about all these apps about you Know all these different apps like Instacart and all that stuff you know Um that I could do instead of delivering Pizza But you know me you know those apps and Everything they're cool it just seems Like I'll be on like a hustle or a grind You know my pizza delivery job is more About me just having a job Craig would Later go on to say that all the money he Had spent on ads promoting bitconnect Was given to him by the company and that He barely made anything from the project Many people included the SEC didn't seem To buy that excuse and the government Questioned Craig about his connection to The creators of bitconnect in May of 2021 the SEC decided to sue grant for 1.5 million dollars and Grant not Wanting to deal with this case decided To flee to Jamaica to escape prosecution The story gets even weirder though as The SEC sent agents to Craig's home in Florida to serve him paperwork about the Lawsuit however they were met at the

Door by his longtime girlfriend and the Mother of his children Yuliana she told The agents that they had broken up and Craig had moved to Jamaica and they no Longer communicated Craig initially Posted videos of him living in Jamaica On YouTube however after the SEC sent an Agent Down To Jamaica to find him he Deleted all videos of him in Jamaica With even more digging I was able to Find that Craig Grant still has an Active Twitter account where he still Posts videos of him living the good life In Jamaica and there is also a woman who Looks very much like Yuliana who has Appeared in many of his new videos as Well if this is Yuliana then this Contradicts what she told agents in 2021 That she had no idea where Craig Grant Is living in 2021 the SEC made multiple Attempts to serve Grant in Jamaica and At one point served the wrong man named Craig Grant after being unable to find The real Grant they have attempted to Serve him by email and other forms of Publication but as of 2023 it appears he Is still living a Carefree life in Jamaica I have to say that I find it Really odd that the SEC is unable to Track this man down after it was very Easy for me to find an active Twitter Account for Craig where he shows himself Outside almost daily in Jamaica with the GPS and satellite capabilities at the

Disposal of the US government I feel it Would be incredibly easy to use these Videos to pinpoint his location however As of the time of this video it doesn't Appear that the SEC is actively trying To hunt down this fugitive the home that Grant was repeatedly shown in his videos Looks quite nice and his lifestyle is Far improved from the near homeless life He was trying to portray to his Followers shortly after the collapse of Bitconnect while it doesn't seem Craig Has paid for his connections to the scam Yet my hope is that his day in court Will come eventually from there let's Take a look at the living meme himself Carlos Matos now Carlos became the meme We all know today after appearing at the First and only big connect annual Conference in Thailand in October 2017. Carlos over the top personality after Making over a hundred thousand dollars With the big connect platform drew the Attention of everyone and after the Collapse of bitconnect Carlos went viral And became a living meme with a music Video remix of his speech being my Personal favorite Foreign Criticism Carlos received for being so Happy promoting a scam Carlos went quiet For a number of years only to emerge Again in 2020 when he began posting on His YouTube Channel showing videos of

Himself living the good life working out And buying a brand new Tesla this rubbed Many people the wrong way after so many Lost their life savings in bitconnect Carlos would later go on the H3 podcast And admit that he was able to get all of His investment out of big connect before It collapsed and it was only the profit That he missed out on where where were You when you found out like oh my God Bitcoin big bit connect is crashing to Like 40 cents or something like that you Know I I really didn't get much hurt uh you Know from the bitconnect experience in Terms of the money that I lost I was able to get my the money that I Invested out oh really what I did yes But what what I did not get was the Profit that supposedly I realized which I you know I didn't have time to get Absolutely it was just a push you know Everything sadly Carlos was not done Promoting Shady businesses in November 2021 Carlos partnered with a few Tech Bros to launch a line of nfts that tried To capitalize on his Infamous big Connect speech Carlos again returned to The H3 podcast to promote the project Unfortunately his team failed to answer Even the most basic questions like if They even had the rights to create nfts Of Carlos speech he's now got a huge Opportunity in nfts he emailed us I am

Going to introduce you to this amazing Uh you know team that I'm working with That I'm so proud I actually Love these guys like if they were my Brothers and this is Max here Maximilian Is an amazing guy he's the CEO of the Company and we got Alex Goldberg as well And we got Amos as well come on guys let Them see your faces oh yeah show your Faces so when the FBI does a follow-up That's got a good look let's get a good Look at those faces guys okay what's Going on uh Carlos you reached out to us An email you have an exciting and so Exciting Opportunity and nfts basically the Original video was A moment an iconic moment in crypto History that is on the same level as Like the doge meme and and the Importance of that that is the space so You know what we're doing is is we're Taking each moment from that video all 28 moments from that original video and Releasing them as nfts which are all Going to be optioned off on uh you know Once they're made in the contract they Can be auction on open C Zora let me ask You I don't believe that Carlos owns the Rights to that video Am I Wrong how are You guys licensing that Um the the actual person in that video Is me yeah And yeah but probably by but but whoever

Took the video probably owns the the License to the work right that's how That works That is interesting But at the same time Yeah exploding they're exploding who I Am and they did it without my consent so Well it goes both a few days later Carlos nfts launched and fortunately it Was a disaster with no one wanting to Buy into the project just a few days After the launch with no sales to show The team quietly shut down their website Carlos and the team moved on and his nft Launch quickly became a faded memory After doing research on Carlos it Doesn't appear that the SEC or any other Government agency ever targeted him to Retrieve funds for bitconnect it doesn't Appear that Carlos ever made much money At all from the project so going after Him most likely would have been a waste Of resources the government could have Focused on the bigger fish in the scam Carlos still lives in New York City and I'm sure to this day still gets Recognized as the bitconnect guy from Time to time being the living meme that He became maybe is all the punishment he Really deserved now if it sounds like Everyone up to this point hasn't really Been punished for promoting the big Connect scam I do have some good news a Man by the name of Glenn Arcaro who was

The head of operations for all big Connect promoters in the United States Was sentenced to a total of 38 months in Prison for his participation in the scam As part of his plea deal not to receive A longer sentence he turned over the Crypto he had to the SEC totaling around 24 million dollars with other funds the SEC recovered from other big connect Wallets a total of 57 million in funds Were recovered and returned to those Scammed by bitconnect in 2022 while That's a far cry from the 2.4 billion Total loss by people it's a start in the Right direction to helping those who Were scammed as of 2023 Glenn is one of The only big connect promoters who have Served prison time for their connection To the big connect scam Glenn's Testimony allowed investigators to Target who they believe is the creator Of bitconnect a man from India named Satish kumbani Satish was indicted in The U.S for his crimes running bit Connect in 2021 however after this Became public Satish fled India and as Of film coming this video he is still on The run with the SEC stating they do not Currently know about his whereabouts Many people also believe that Satish may Have just been the front man for those Who really ran bitconnect but as of 2023 The SEC still believes he was the Creator of the project and are actively

Looking to bring him to Justice finally I want to add that it seems the SEC is Only charging those who are at the top Of the bikinik pyramid and those lower Down who still made money seem to have Been let off the hook Ryan Hildreth who Was a big promoter of big connect in its Final days doesn't seem to have ever Been targeted by the SEC he was hit with A class action lawsuit by those who lost Money in big connect but from what I can Find it seems the lawsuit was closed After the SEC was able to recover the 57 Million to repay many of those victims Ryan hildrith is still on YouTube and Now makes videos selling a course on YouTube Automation and for the most part Seems to have been forgiven by most as His channel has been growing steadily Over the past couple of years lots of Creators who promoted big connect Deleted their channels after collapsed Like crypto chick and crypto Nick and For the most part it seems that they Have never been targeted by any Government agencies as they weren't the Top players in the scam it's unfortunate That it seems so many people who Promoted this scam still haven't been Brought to justice but as I mentioned Earlier the wheels of Justice turned Slowly so maybe in the years to come That will change

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