Ignite Ratings Fraud: ICO Refunds & Termination of Petlan Limited DLT License Application
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Link to references: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AorXTM4xrmjhtw-XIxys-NAUe3B4
Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is drastically changing the landscape of fundraising and enabling the ease of generating public involvement. Unfortunately, this enablement has made the public a soft target for many dubious operators to exploit. One of such operators is Petlan Limited, a.k.a Ignite Ratings, presently operating out from Gibraltar under the transitional arrangements provided for by the DLT Regulations.
Petlan Limited (Ignite) supposedly sold cryptocurrency tokens (named IGNT) to raise funds to build its ratings platform and fund a trading Index (fully owned by itself). Beside the other questionable activities perpetrated by Ignite (more on that later), it fraudulently misled the public by deceitfully announcing token total supply slashes through a released publication on the 24 Jan., 2018 right in the middle of its Crowdsale in a desperate attempt to entice investors with the purported low total token supply. In the referenced publication, it categorically stated that it had slashed its token total supply all the way from its original 60m to 10m to address the perceived expensiveness of its token which was sold at an equivalent of $7 per token at the time of sale. Its co-founder, Damon Barnard, even presented investors with clarification and further numbers breakdown through a telegram chat stating thus; “…only 3m are being sold as part of the crowdsale” out of the total supply of 10m. Please refer to the following link for evidence and references: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AorXTM4xrmjhtw-XIxys-NAUe3B4
Other known fraudulent conducts of Ignite are presented in the following submissions below. Given the evident use of deception to defraud the public through its false and misleading publications, its involvement in market meddling to force down prices and re-buy at over 90% discount from the price it offered tokens to investors, other affected and concerned members of the public are being requested to sign this petition to demand the issuance of refunds from Ignite to the affected investors and the halt of its fraudulent operations and any attempt to further dupe the public through a secondary offering.
SECTION 1: Evidence of misrepresentation in the information presented to the public about:
i. Tokens total supply – false statement about “slashed total supply” deployed to induce buyers into the decision of purchasing its Tokens given the false representation of low token total supply; refer to Annex A1, under “Token Supplies, Market Caps and Pricing Strategies” in referenced link
ii. Tokens locked-up in relation to Tokens allocated for Bounties (Marketing funds) as related to section 4 below, and Private (seed) sale, aiding holders in these categories to ‘dump’ on exchanges and therefore contributing to the significant loss of asset value witnessed from IGNX market debut; refer to Annex A2, under “Important Bounty Notes” in referenced link
SECTION 2: Direct interference with the free and fair operation of IGNX market through the enablement of conditions that propelled Ignite’s unscrupulous acquisition of over 6m IGNX Tokens at possibly over 90% LESS than the sales price offered to the public during its ICO Token sale (refer to Annex B1). Principally, the extent of market meddling is most reflective in its initiated listing on Bancor Network, which is said to have been funded with an initial $100,000 liquidity (just over 2m IGNX) with IGNT tokens valued @ $5.8 each in line with the specified listing price of $0.058/IGNX on Bancor; the main points are: cosmetics
i. Constraining contributors to the use of a needlessly delayed and complex token swap instruction, enforced on all IGNT holders to facilitate an indirect trading of its IGNT tokens on the exchanges (IGNT – being the token sold during Ignite ICO Token sale), even when the conversion/swap could have been executed automatically; refer to Annex B2
ii. Protracted release of token conversion instructions (Annex B3) worsened by the supply of an amply deficient version on Telegram (unusable by most contributors) AFTER over an hour of its Token (IGNX) going live on Bancor (Annex B4) – even when Ignite was fully aware of the listing timeline and in fact provided listing confirmation instructions to Bancor development team knowing fully well that it had created a condition for shallow market entry which implied that those who had access to the (complete) swap instructions were edged with an unfair advantage to benefit from the thin liquidity (refer to Annex B5). Essentially, throwing all contributors who got in after the first two hours from the time of listing, as a direct result of Ignite’s decision to provide an inadequate swap instruction after live listing, into a position of assuming significant losses or being left with the choice of unintendedly retaining the valueless tokens. Ultimately, Ignite decided against providing the necessary comprehensive token conversion instructions to all contributors through an obvious all-inclusive medium such as by Email (as Ignite has all contributor’s email addresses), neither was there consideration for permitting reasonable time period for contributors to carefully process the token swap before the live listing took place;
iii. Failure to announce Bancor live listing of its only-exchange tradeable asset (IGNX) and the tactful suppression of swap instructions notice through the casual distribution to only Telegram members without providing (delay) notification to all contributors by Email in the same manner as it broadcasted several last-minute token sale bonus offers during its crowdsale period to generate more involvement. But instead of the establishment of a balanced playing field, the ensued events that preceded the token value crash, approximately 2 hours after listing, suggests a few contributors were privy of complete swap instructions, inspiring insider abuse; refer to Annex B7
iv. Foul play in Ignite’s illicit removal of IGNX token from Bancor, momentarily inhibiting market natural flow and artificially preserving Token value through the resulting market ‘hold’ having taken the spoils on Bancor and made significant profits in excess of 6m IGNX tokens (valued at over 4000 ETH using the Token sale valuation of 150 IGNT per ETH) according to statements from Ignite’s co-founder (refer to Annex B8). This questionable practice of token buy-backs has left many contributors wondering if parts of their assumed project-backed investments were deployed to this duplicitous venture which is a major disservice to investors and contributors alike. These observations have given rise to the loss of confidence in the team given the unethical and disreputable practices, ultimately geared towards market censorship and manipulative intents;
SECTION 3: Treacherous conduct and a lack of responsibility in the sale of Tokens BEYOND the period of its ICO Crowdsale that ended on the 28 February 2018. Accommodation of underhand Token sales on 5th and 6th of March and other possible further sales.
This very disreputable practice does not only undermine the terms of Ignite’s Token Sale Agreement, but it indicates the treacherous nature of the team and its willingness to circumvent and violate both its own guidelines and that deemed reasonable and fair to the public, in the interest of generating funds for itself (for the interest of those unaware, the Index is the sole property of Ignite, consult the TSA). This point is also evident in the claims of irregular and unstandardized bonus benchmarks applied to some private sale contributors who received as much as six (6) times more than others in the same category. refer to Annex C1
SECTION 4: The double-dealing enterprise. Conflict of interest in Ignite’s wrongful speculation of its own tokens (using ‘Index’ contributor’s funds) through buy-backs on exchanges having created premises for heavily discounted sales and mounting rhetoric about its Tokens not being an ‘investment product’ even when it is being treated exclusively as one – leaving the supposed intent of its Token sale in doubts in view of its overwhelming involvement in directly speculating its IGNT tokens (through the use of the introduced proxy token: IGNX) and influencing market conditions to foster its investment yields. refer to Annex D1
SECTION 5: Imbalanced information on allocated 100,000 IGNT tokens (equivalent to 17.89% of total Crowdsale yields) distribution given evidence of misguided distribution of Tokens; refer to Annex E
SECTION 6: Sufficient ambiguity and possible misappropriation of funds in the presented Crowd sale roundup numbers; please refer to Annex F1
Detailed grounds of submission for a few sections
Ignite was confronted about the fraudulent misstatement of the various token total supply slashes articulated in its ‘Medium’ publication on 24 January 2018, following its Crowdsale Roundup Numbers release. The team’s response was nothing short of cavalier (refer to Annex A1i).
Likewise, the representation of a dump prevention and control mechanism which Ignite had claimed in a publication on Bitcointalk (refer to Annex A2) where it stated categorically that its bounty tokens “will be locked up for 3 months to prevent dump on exchanges” turned out to be blatantly false. The same condition is said to be applied to tokens sold during its private (seed) sale, which is expected to have a longer lockup period, in fact one of Ignite team members stated that the seed tokens was not yet distributed. Conversely, as evidenced in transactions on the Blockchain, and in a discussion with one of the private sale participants who had liquidated his position upon the Bancor exchange listing, the lock-up conditions were false. This heightened level of misrepresentation and a degree of market insensitivity have misled participants and have had plausible impact on what is now reflected as the present market value of the IGNX token, which is averaging on the market for less than 1/7th of the Token sale price offered to contributors by Ignite.
SECTION 2: - detailed above
SECTION 3: - detailed above
SECTION 4: - detailed above
The basis for the 100,000 IGNT allocation, understood by participants according to Ignite, was solely to provide bounties for interested social marketing contributors who took part during the marketing campaign, which supposedly was coordinated entirely, or at least administratively. When it became apparent that there was sufficient ambiguity in several aspects of the program, Ignite team denied direct involvement in the running of the program – which should be noted as contributor’s funds. The unbelievable degree of mismanagement was raised with one of its co-founder who simply refused responsibility and pointed to a third party. refer to Annex E1
Given the substantial quantity of IGNT involved (667 ETH worth, approx. 17.89% of total ICO yields) and the possible ripple effect the dump of these tokens may have had on manipulating the IGNT valuation, it was evident that the consequent impact of the imbalanced information and the ambiguous nature of the marketing campaign set out by Ignite may continue to affect the valuation of the tokens for the most foreseeable future. Evidence of the irregular nature of the distribution include pay out to a wallet belonging to a contributor that never participated in the exercise. refer to Annex E3
After the presentation of the protracted Crowdsale roundup numbers from Ignite, multiple uncorrelated information were obtainable. First, it became apparent that Ignite had reinstated its initial supply of 60m token which was reported to have been slashed down to 10m and subsequently reduced to 8m. It is needless to state that this major discrepancy had swayed many buyers decision to purchase Ignite’s tokens given the misleading information of limited total supply. Second, the roundup report also revealed numerous ambiguous information to the public to serve its dubious ends. Part of the ambiguous information includes the provision of non-crystal token lockup information that Ignite failed to clarify on its Telegram chat given experiences of false lockups that it had previously specified.
Likewise, calculation of token numbers did not add-up as the addition of all tokens sold plus tokens (supposedly) locked and reserved for team etc is less than the totals presented leaving a significant gap in the total number submitted. Refer to Annex F1
Total tokens sold: 558,866 IGNT
Bonus tokens of 50% average on all tokens sold: 279,433
Tokens locked up for staff: 2,000,000
Unclassified tokens with unclassified token lockup conditions: 3,023,888 IGNT
Totals: 5,862,187 IGNT
A difference of 1,176,633 IGNT has been added to the final calculation with no disclose
In conclusion, I believe it is in the best interest of the public that the ICO space succeeds in ushering us into the realm of those thrilling possibilities that many like myself anticipates - solving real practical issues that have eluded the remits of conventional approaches. And I also believe that by exposing, escalating and putting the word out to prevent others from falling prey to exploiters like Petlan limited (Ignite), we can together complement the efforts of regulators and help save the space from corrupt and dubious entrants.
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