A lot of investors have fallen prey to scams in the name of RBI’s supposed cryptocurrency – Laxmicoins.
RBI recently announced that they are exploring a centrally banked cryptocurrency for interbank settlements, which would go by the name “Lakshmicoin”. Lakshmi is the Indian goddess of wealth, and to many people, this RBI announcement has attached a religious angle to cryptocurrency. But it’s not the first time this has been tried.
Cricket, Bollywood and Religion – these are the three things that most almost all of India relates to and it won’t be long before cryptocurrency projects in India look to these avenues to market. Looks like they’ve started with religion.
In a country like India, where Religion sells, it is easy to manipulate the masses with a coin called Laxmicoin. All you have to show is the meteoric growth of other cryptocurrencies so people think it’s legit, and then add a dash of godliness to it and voila – you have created a great growth strategy for India. But things aren’t that straightforward. We did some digging around and found that some miscreants are manipulating investors to think that their “coin” is the same as the one announced by the RBI. Here’s what we found –
But things aren’t that straightforward. We did some digging around and found that some miscreants are manipulating investors to think that their “coin” is the same as the one announced by the RBI. Here’s what we found –
“Laxmicoin” (not LakshmiCoin) was one of the earliest attempt to launch India’s based cryptocurrency in back in 2014, which was suspended due to lack of regulations and raids. According to an interview on YourStory with the founder of Laxmicoin – “Laxmicoin is a hybrid digital currency platform. Few coins are pre-mined while others would be mined over a period of time. “
Laxmicoin IP rights are reserved by Mitthan Lal Meena – Promoter of Laxmicoin mart private limited. Here are the IP details. There is one more company registered with the same name on MCA. Their social media page is active and the website is not working.
According to IDRBT whitepaper on Blockchain implementation in the financial sector, they have included digital currency as a use case for interbank settlement. They also mentioned it would possibly hedge against Indian Rupees, and will not be volatile like other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Last month, they released an announcement on working on digital currency project – Laxmicoin and dubbed it India’s own version of Bitcoin. This was wrongly quoted by leading media agency, without understanding the usage and purpose of this proposed digital currency.
So which one is it? Who owns the Laxmicoin that is supposed to be mandated by the RBI? Furthermore, neither of these online entities has the endorsement of the RBI. Sure, one could argue that “Laxmicoin” and “Lakshmicoin” aren’t the same, but that’s enough for scammers to rip off gullible investors.
Scams under the guise of Laxmicoin
Scammers are aplenty in India, and this media report was what they were waiting for. After MLM crypto scams, where a tremendous amount of money has already been pumped in, it looks like these unscrupulous individuals have turned to scamming people through their religious sentiments.
We found two websites using the RBI announcement to collect funds from Indian citizens. Sadly many of them have fallen for these scams and have invested their hard earned money. And all because not enough investors haven’t noticed the slight change in name.
According to their website: “Laxmicoin is the first open, permissionless cryptocurrency that can fully protect the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography.” According to stats shown on their website, they have already raised 16.9 Crores (~3 million USD) from Investors in the name of India’s centralized cryptocurrency.
According to their website: They are listed on leading exchanges – Bitterex, Bitfinex and few more. We checked and you won’t find their existence on any of these mentioned exchanges.
Our Appeal to Media
We get it. There are a lot of eyeballs on cryptocurrencies and writing about it will get you page views. But know that you’re going to be one of the sources that people look to before making an investment decision.
If you really care about covering cryptocurrency related stories/topics, do more research make articles more fact-based. With Lakshmicoin, it is your responsibility to mention the difference between past coins under similar names. Not one media house mentioned this, despite having covered it a few years ago.
There are too many scammers out there and it is up to you to try to educate citizens about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Our appeal to Indian Government
Introduce a cryptocurrency usage framework for both consumers and business, so that such scams can be nipped in the bud. India is a rising power in the crypto world, but governments from other countries like Japan, USA, Singapore and Australia have taken steps towards regulating crypto.
Suggestion to Indian Investors
Technical analysis is a must. Think of yourself as a venture capital. Understand the underlying blockchain technology that fuels the currency and see if it actually has any real-world usage. Look at the team behind it and see how they’re developing it.
You must do you your due diligence before investing in a cryptocurrency. If you’re new to this, ask your peers. Join communities like ours and ask experienced investors how they do trading properly. It’s early days – beware of scammers.
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Hitesh Malviya is the Founder of ItsBlockchain. He is one of the most early adopters of blockchain & cryptocurrency enthusiast in India. After being into space for a few years, he started IBC in 2016 to help other early adopters learn about the technology.
Before IBC, Hitesh has founded 4 companies in the cyber security & IT space.
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