Watchdog confirms illegal activity by cryptocurrency firm Envion

The company is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings handled by the Zug bankruptcy office. © Keystone / Alexandra Wey

An investigation by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has revealed the that Zug-based cryptocurrency venture Envion unlawfully received deposits from at least 37,000 investors.

This content was published on March 27, 2019 minutes

Envion unlawfully accepted over CHF90 million ($90.5 million) in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) without the necessary statutory licence, according to a statement by FINMAExternal link on Wednesday.

More than 37,000 investors purchased its EVN tokens by making payments in US dollars as well as Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies. FINMA judged that accepting these payments qualified as public deposits under the Banking Act, which requires a banking licence.

Besides a lack of a banking licence, FINMA also found that EVN tokens were not issued under the same conditions to all investors. There was also no international audit unit as required by law.

The company is now in liquidation and FINMA will not be taking any further action. The details of the bankruptcy proceedings could not be revealed as they are handled by the Zug bankruptcy office.

Responding to FINMA’s analysis, Envion’s former CEO Matthias Woestmann said that the regulator had not identified any misappropriation of the assets entrusted to the company. Woestmann considered that the end of the proceedings against him was a “clear signal” and that the board of directors was therefore “totally exonerated”. He hopes that the Zug bankruptcy office will “do everything possible” to return the money to investors.

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