The ancient Egyptians made pyramids to last forever. Wall Street’s pyramid schemes aren’t nearly as durable. Bitcoin, while not officially a product of traditional Wall Street, is a pyramid Ponzi Schemes What is a Ponzi scheme? Dr. Joseph T. Wells’ Encyclopedia of Fraud, Third Edition describes the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme: A Ponzi scheme is an illegal business practice in which new investor’s money is used to make payments to earlier investors. In accounting terms, money paid to Ponzi investors, described as income, is actually a distribution of capital. The other day my barber asked me whether he should put all his money in Bitcoin. And the truth is that if he’d bought Bitcoin, say, a year ago he’d be feeling pretty good right now. The average loss for Ponzi victims in the decade after Madoff was $150,000, according to an analysis of S.E.C. data, compared with $80,000 in the previous decade for non-Madoff scams. In January 2018, Bitcoin investment lending platform Bitconnect shut down its lending and exchange services amid allegations it was a Ponzi scheme. Launched in early 2017 with promises of returns of up to 40% per month , the platform was quick to attract criticism from the wider crypto community and soon drew the attention of regulators.
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