Russian Forex pyramid architect moves to blockchain seminars

Maria Nikolova

Having spent 7.5 years in prison over Forex fraud, Alexey Kalinichenko now seeks to tap the growing interest in novel financial technologies.

counting house

Blockchain technologies have attracted huge interest among businesses and regulatory bodies in Russia lately. Along with this trend, the number of fraudulent schemes abusing the growing popularity of blockchain and bitcoin is also growing. According to a recent statement by Marat Safiulin, who is at the helm of the Federal Public-State Foundation for the Protection of Investor and Shareholder Rights, a new financial pyramid emerges in Russia every 48 hours. He has also noted that fraudulent schemes involving crypto-currencies and new financial technologies are of particular concern and has forecast that they will spread further in the future.

We should not be surprised then to see that Alexey Kalinichenko is among those venturing into the blockchain area. The name of Mr Kalinichenko is known to those familiar with the history of the Russian Forex industry – with its dark side, to be more precise. Kalinichenko, also known as the “Forex Mavrodi” or the “Ural Mavrodi”, spent 7.5 years in prison over Forex fraud. He was released in June 2017, after having served his full sentence. He is estimated to have defrauded investors out of more than RUB 2.1 billion – the clients of his companies had been promised that their money would be invested in the FX market.

Alexey Kalinichenko’s personal website has now re-emerged with an invitation for a “Blockchain seminar and show”.

The event is poised to combine musical performances with presentations about Bitcoin, Ethereum, bitmoney, blockchain, and graphene. The seminar is supposed to shed light on “the new global economic model”, with the ticket for the July 11, 2017 event costing RUB 3,000.

Russian authorities had earlier taken a harsh stance regarding bitcoin and other virtual currencies. This has markedly changed and the central bank is even working on the launch of a national virtual currency. Proposals for the regulation of blockchain and crypto-currencies are in the works. In the meantime, while the lack of clarity around these types of fintech persists, investors will have hard time deciding on whether to trust a given project or not.

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