Currently, our organization is involved in multiple significant cybercrime case investigations. Our team has spent months working on the ENVION and COINTED cases in addition to the significant instances involving binary options. We have frequently alerted consumers and investors to the inconsistencies and blatantly incorrect information provided by COINTED in the COINTED case, and we have also issued warnings against COINTED. Alarms should have been raised regardless of the acting individuals’ and the company’s proximity to the Crypto-Scam OPTIOMENT, which resulted in over 10,000 victims and over USD 100 million in damages. After the management ultimately declared bankruptcy, there are still several unresolved issues:
- How are the Crypto-ATMs doing?
- Millions of euros worth of mining equipment—where is it?
- Where has the money gone from clients and investors?
- What actions are being taken by the authorities?
Based on the documentation at our disposal, COINTED has gathered investments totaling at least EUR 14 million through many routes. The majority was undoubtedly invested in cryptocurrency mining, but there was also money in the exchange office, Initial Coin Offering (ICO), and cryptocurrency ATM company. We have a thorough understanding of the procedures through one of the original investors in the Crypto Mining division, and we can base our judgments on this information.
COINTED Filed a petition for insolvency
It was discovered at the end of September 2018 that COINTED had filed for bankruptcy in Innsbruck. The bankruptcy was not finalised by September 30 of the same year since the necessary payment for the insolvency fees had not been made. It appears that the business itself is short on the few thousand euros needed to effectively manage and execute the company’s insolvency with the assistance of an insolvency administrator. Alternatively, there can just be a lack of motivation to complete this systematic procedure during an insolvency. A number of events that have recently come to light support the latter.
Part 1 of Asset Transfer: Crypto-ATMs
The truth is that COINTED engaged in a number of dubious activities in the days, weeks, and months before declaring bankruptcy. For an estimated purchase price of EUR 285,000, 85 of its crypto-ATMs were sold to the Austrian company AVATAR Technology GmbH. The funds were deposited into COINTED’s Czech Republic business account with Unicredit, and the company’s creditors ought to have had access to them.
The documents we have access to show that COINTED received at least EUR 14 million in investor funding through a variety of methods. The majority was undoubtedly invested in cryptocurrency mining, but the company also ran an exchange, conducted an initial coin offering (ICO), and operated a cryptocurrency ATM. We have a thorough understanding of the procedures through one of the original investors in the Crypto Mining division, and we can base our judgments on this information.
In June 2018, CEO Wolfgang THALER declared in his parting video that he would sell the exchange business line and utilise the money received to pay off creditors. This obviously did not occur, but perhaps it did? Regarding this, there are a lot of rumours!
Investors and consumers of COINTED appear to have received nothing in exchange for their EUR 285,000. We can infer from the numerous accusations made to us and attorneys that investors or customers did not receive their money back from COINTED. Conversely, we are receiving reports from more irate investors and consumers.
In this context, it’s also noteworthy that the AVATAR Group has ties to 21CoinWorld, another Austrian crypto-MLM that specialises in crypto-mining. The link can be made through MLM structure distributor Albert HINTERDORFER, who serves as the CEO of the crypto-MLM scheme 21CoinWorld and the Swiss AVATAR Bitbyte AG.
This Austrian cryptocurrency network has several interconnections that are opaque to regulators and investors. It is a fact, nonetheless, that only a few individuals consistently support these systems and manage the capital of investors. Until they vanished, the COINTED individuals were an essential component of this network.
Part Two of Asset Provisioning: Crypto-Mining Server
Asset transfers continued beyond the cryptocurrency ATMs. It is evident from our files that a large portion of the cryptocurrency-mining servers were purposefully removed from COINTED and moved to other cryptocurrency-mining schemes. In actuality, during the weeks and months preceding the bankruptcy, Charlie AHO attempted to park the cryptocurrency mining servers somewhere else. Only conjectures on the specifics can currently be made due to the company’s intricate structure.
We discovered that Charli AHO and Christopher RIEDER have been running the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency mining business QUANTUMBIT LTD since autumn 2017 (registered in September 2017) thanks to a tip from a previous COINTED partner. A positive report on this mining strategy can be found on the website of Krypto GmbH, an Austrian sales structure firm. Charli AHO and Christopher RIEDER, two successful cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, are praised extensively. As a result, RIEDER and AHO are supporting the “legitimate” cryptocurrency mining project MINETED with their company QUANTUMBIT LTD (Note: the appendix “TED” and the name’s closeness to COINTED were likely intentional, as was the tagline “The Future of Money” or “Green Mining” staying the same).
The reviews’ well-intentioned tone is most likely partly a result of the DOPPLER brothers’ MLM system involvement. Karl DOPPLER registered www.minted.com in October 2017 or is listed as the administrator, according to the domain information. After that, Gold Digger Capital Ltd. in Hong Kong acquired the domain.
The goal of MINTED is to be a crypto-MLM. Before you begin, you must have a sponsor for a referral link. This time, it’s clear that they wanted to make money through the use of an MLM structure in addition to mining, assuming that was even conceivable. None of the similarities to NEXUS GLOBAL are omitted. The early-year talks in Vienna with COINTED and Christian Michel SCHEIBENER, one of the co-founders of NEXUS GLOBAL, were clearly productive.
However, if you look at the online ranking or the 9 Likes on Facebook, the MINETED technique is not going to be very successful. Beginning in December 2017, the project is being promoted by the DOPPLER brothers of Krypto GmbH, who have already gained notoriety for their involvement in the ArbiTraCoin and other scams. Additionally, there is a March 22, 2018, webinar tape where Karl DOPPLER goes into greater detail on the connections and creativity of this innovative multi level marketing plan.
We will soon provide an extensive study on the history of the MINETED program. We wish to present the broad picture in relation to COINTED’s bankruptcy today.
White paper and transparency report misrepresentations
In the broader context of the AHO and RIEDER projects, the time axis is an intriguing feature. As previously stated, the MINETED initiative commenced in the fall of 2017, coinciding nearly with the launch of COINTED’s initial coin offering. There is no such reference in the Austrian 21 Group’s transparency report or the COINTED White Paper. The tight ties that the 21 Group had and still have with both COINTED and the AVATAR Group may also have something to do with this. In any case, it is up to the authorities in the interest of the investors and customers of both groups of companies to examine what role the 21 Group played in the capital procurement measures of the two groups of companies.
So, where are the assets and the money located?
To be clear, COINTED has sold the cryptocurrency ATMs and received EUR 285,000; however, Charli AHO and Christopher RIEDER appear to be continuing to mine cryptocurrency using equipment that has, based on the documents we have access to, at least partially been funded by COINTED’s creditors.
In the event of insolvency, a company’s assets serve as collateral for its creditors. Not only is it against the management’s fiduciary duties to remove assets from the company, but it is also illegal and hurts the interests of creditors. Owing to the intricate arrangements surrounding the COINTED operators—RIEDER, THALER, AHO, and ORLOV—it is reasonable to conclude that a thorough investigation is necessary to ascertain the true recipient of COINTED’s funds and assets.
What comes next?
The most recent sources state that there is no extradition arrangement in place for Christopher RIEDER and Wolfgang THALER, who are currently residents of Turkey. After letting two appointments with the public prosecutor’s office fall through, Christopher RIEDER is currently hiding in the sun of Turkey. As a result, MINETED has a close relationship with Turkey. The website is accessible in Turkish as well, and Mineted has sponsored events in Turkey.
We believe that declaring bankruptcy would be in the best interests of COINTED’s investors and creditors from an economic standpoint. In this regard, we have recommended a similar process through a legal business in Vienna and pledged our assistance should the Innsbruck court be unable to declare bankruptcy for lack of assets. We gather the claims from the creditors and forward them appropriately. Investors who have suffered losses and creditors can get in touch with us to get the information they need to file a claim.
In any event, following the completion of the COINTED house searches and the current disclosure of facts, the Austrian public prosecutor’s office ought to expedite the investigations for the sake of investors, clients, and the Austrian capital market. Within the framework of OPTIOMENT, we are discussing a crypto crime case valued at over USD 120 million. We assume that this should amply warrant an international approach by law enforcement organisations and authorities.
A digital currency that operates as a means of exchange via a computer network and is not dependent on a central authority—such as a bank or government—is known as a cryptocurrency, crypto-currency, or crypto. It is a decentralised system that removes the need for conventional middlemen, like banks, when transferring money between two entities by confirming that the parties to a transaction actually own the money they say they do.
A digital ledger, a computerised database that uses robust cryptography to secure transaction records, regulate the production of new coins, and confirm the transfer of currency ownership, houses individual coin ownership records. Despite their name, cryptocurrencies are not thought of as traditional currencies. Although they have been treated differently, being classified as securities, commodities, and currencies, in reality, they are usually seen as a separate asset class. Validators are used by certain cryptocurrency systems to keep the currency stable. Under a proof-of-stake approach, token owners pledge their holdings as security. They receive control over the token in exchange, proportionate to the amount they stake. Generally, these token stakers get additional ownership in the token over time via network fees, newly minted tokens, or other such reward mechanisms.
Unlike paper money, which exists in tangible form, cryptocurrency is not issued by a central body. Unlike digital currencies issued by central banks, most cryptocurrencies operate under decentralised control (CBDC). Cryptocurrencies are typically regarded as centralised when they are created, minted, or issued by a single issuer. Every cryptocurrency functions via distributed ledger technology, usually a blockchain, which acts as a public record of financial transactions when used in a decentralised manner.
When Bitcoin was first made available as open-source software in 2009, it was the first cryptocurrency. More than 25,000 other cryptocurrencies were available in the market as of June 2023, with over 40 of them having a market capitalization of $1 billion or more.
Bitcoin ATMs, also known as automated teller machines, are places where users can use cash or a debit card to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bidirectional capability allows for the buying and selling of Bitcoin for cash at certain Bitcoin ATMs. Certain Bitcoin ATM operators mandate that users have an active account in order to conduct transactions on the device.
The process of creating new Bitcoin, similar to how a central bank prints new fiat money, and validating transactions on the blockchain is known as mining.
Here are the actual steps involved in mining Bitcoins along with some more information.
The intricate computational and technological process of confirming bitcoin transactions across the network is known as mining. It is comparable to receiving payment in Bitcoin for validating a block on the chain network.
Miners are those who engage in this type of mining activity. The term “mining” refers to the process because, similar to other natural resources, the quantity of Bitcoins that can be obtained is limited. 21 million Bitcoins are the maximum that may be generated or mined. Similar to actual mining, mining Bitcoins requires energy investment in order to produce new bitcoins. In this case, the energy is being used to mine Bitcoins electrically. The miners compete with one another to solve challenging hash puzzles meant to verify the blocks containing transactions through cryptographic encoding.
Whoever guesses the number first in this competition will win a reward of freshly created Bitcoins in addition to the opportunity to edit the transaction ledger on the Bitcoin blockchain network. Note that the computer is the one making all of these guesses about particular numbers. Hence, a miner’s odds of winning this race increase with the power of their computer, which in turn raises the number of estimates they can make each second. Mining bitcoin is mostly done as follows:
A) To validate current transactions and introduce new currency into circulation.
B) To prevent double-spending and counterfeiting.
C) Keep the ledger up to date in a decentralised fashion.
Wind-Up- Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable?
Although mining bitcoins may appear rewarding, is it really? The Bitcoin mining mechanism was devised by its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, so that the harder it is to solve a mathematical problem, the stronger the mining network becomes. Thus, the mining power that the entire network holds is used to change the difficulty process.
Put simply, the more miners that compete, the more difficult the puzzle will be to solve. In order to control inflation, this structure was made to preserve stability and provide a constant supply of new Bitcoins. Because of the mining difficulties, a new block is introduced roughly every 10 minutes.
ENVION and COINTED Scam Conclusion
People wish to employ Bitcoin mining for huge income since, as was previously mentioned, it is closely tied to rewards. Nevertheless, making mining profitable is not always so simple. Thus, take into account and verify the following elements, which have a significant influence on the profitability of mining:
- Hash rate Mining difficulty Block rewards
- Charges for power and electricity consumption
- Mining pool charges
- The market value of bitcoin