MANILA: Controversial businessman Xian Gaza - the same guy who invited actress Erich Gonzales for a coffee date using a billboard in Recto, and got turned down - recently shared a video on social media detailing what he claims to be a scam involving the globally trending cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
According to Gaza, his video "expose" was meant to reveal the structure and modus operandi of a scam.
He said this after explaining that he has already left the country for fear of a P5mil bounty on his head by a certain syndicate.
Gaza claims that an administrator of his page uploaded his video on Facebook and Instagram, as he instructed, while he boards a plane to leave the country.
As for the scheme which was the subject of this video, Gaza described it as something similar to a pyramid scam, a ponzi.
First, an entity possibly posing as a Bitcoin investment fund company offers victims opportunities to invest in cryptocurrency.
The entity provides a projection of income within a certain period of time to further entice targets of potential earnings. Sounds familiar?
The funds taken from investors are then pooled into a pot. When it gets big enough, Gaza stated the syndicate would then offload the money in two ways.
One is to wire the money to export trading companies for money laundering.
The syndicate gets a 10 per cent cut. The other method involves purchasing gold from the black market which would become traditional assets.
Gaza claims the pot has grown to 700 million at the time his video was uploaded.
Some netizens pointed out in their comments that Bitcoin in itself is not a scam, and did not hold back from writing some colorful words of criticism on Gaza.
A certain "admin Z" retorted by saying that people should watch the whole video first, instead of just the first minute of it, before commenting.
One commenter stated that the video's title is misleading, and offered his own clarification on what Gaza talked about.
Looking at the video, Gaza did not claim Bitcoin itself as a scam; rather, he tried to explain that undesirable entities have been using the Bitcoin trend as a front for schemes.
Due to the volatility of cryptocurrency, Gaza claims the syndicate could use it as an exit plan.
Bitcoin suddenly dropping in value would not look as suspicious as in the traditional stock market.
The syndicate could simply say "that's just how the ball rolls" and point to the number of people with losses around the world, all while the syndicate profits from the earnings.
Gaza said, "It's a scam. It's a mega scam and Bitcoin is being taken advantage."
Perhaps there is a shed of truth in his claims, as new technology does tend to attract scammers of all shapes and sizes, all eager to take advantage of the investment money of early adapters. Snake oil, anyone?