14 Jul Mirror Trading International – is it a scam?
The Texas State Securities Board has issued a cease and desist order to Mirror Trading International to immediately stop offering its service in Texas. The FSCA has also issued a statement about MTI.
Mirror Trading International is a multilevel marketing (MLM) investment scheme that uses bitcoin as the base currency. The bitcoin is converted to forex and traded using artificial intelligence (AI) bot. Profits are then distributed back to the members based on their investment in the company.
The CEO is Johann Steynberg who also founded the company. He was also previously involved with other MLM schemes.
The company claims to generate consistent returns of about 10% per month.
MTI does not offer any products or services. Affiliates are able to market the membership and earn commissions off recruitment.
Affiliates have to invest $100 or more. The minimum balance on the system is 0.01BTC. The participate in the recruitment aspect, affiliates have to invest at least $200. All investments are made in bitcoin.
Affiliates earn a 10% commission on funds invested by people who they’ve recruited directly. There is also indirect commission on recruit not personally recruited. This is based on how much the affiliate has invested. These commissions are based on 20% of the entire company’s profits:
- On a $200 – $999 investment, commissions are paid for indirect recruits up to 10 levels deep.
- On a $1000 to $4999 investment, commissions are paid for indirect recruits up to 20 levels deep.
- On a $5000 to $9999 investment, commissions are paid for indirect recruits up to 30 levels deep.
- On a $10,000 or more investment commissions are paid for unlimited levels deep.
Although bitcoin transactions are not regulated, institutional forex traders have to be registered with the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa. Any company that intends to operate as an investment firm in order to conduct forex business in South Africa must obtain a Category I Financial Services Provider licence with FSCA.
Last month, South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni also published amendments to legislation that would require any company dealing with crypto assets to register their institution with the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). This would align South African law with the current International Standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and take a stronger stance on regulating businesses dealing with cryptocurrency and bitcoin.
MTI is not registered as a financial services provider with the FSCA. Since bitcoin is not yet regulated it is not yet required. Trading forex on behalf of investors requires a licence from the FSCA.
Johann Steynberg has a history of being involved in other scams:
- Dragon Mining
- BTC Global
- Syntek Global
- cloud mining Ponzi scheme HashOcean.
The only source of income that can be validated externally is new investment from recruits which make MTI a classic Ponzi scheme.
In the MTI terms and conditions:
vii. Examples of unethical behaviour include, but are not limited to, the following:
c. making unapproved income claims or revealing the amount of income you are or have received through MTI without prior consent from the MTI Governing Body.
m. publishing of any confidential information, including personal account statements, growth margins or profit guarantees on any social media platform or any other public platform.
8. Regulatory and Policy
ii. Should any member become aware of or receive any form of regulatory or policy or legal communication in any communication medium, the information should be forwarded directly to the CEO of MTI care of MTI support and clearly marked for the personal attention of the CEO.
iii. Should clause 8.2 above occur, no member should circulate or send such information or communications in their possession (sic) to any other members other than to the MTI CEO, as required by clause 8.2.
iv. Transgression of this term and condition of MTI membership can result in MTI cancelling a members membership, after which MTI would zero the members MTI account and send the members Bitcoin to the member.
Where does MTI store their bitcoin? Providing a wallet address would simply prove to show that they use the new investment to do payouts.
Has MTI ever demonstrated a trading transaction? No, because there is no trading.
Mirror Trading International have asked why I think they're a scam, below is my list of questions for them.
— Simon Brown (@SimonPB) June 2, 2020