Type in ‘Malaysia investment’ on Google Search Engine, and ‘Malaysia investment scam’ appear as the 2nd most searched result. And you can’t help but wonder “Are people that gullible?”
With the schemes and investment product getting more complicated, and the poorer economic times, it is not surprising people start looking for opportunities to ensure money grow and are willing to take the risk even if such schemes seem too good to be true.
Carbon Token, Carbon Credit, Carbon Cash, Carbon Trading and the low down
Bitcoin scams are not a new occurrence. As the price increased substantially over the years, so has many unethical individual or organization looking to take advantage of others. However, not all bitcoins are scam, nor are all schemes illegal or investment products fake. To avoid being a victim, we need to better understand how investment product works before putting our money in. Money does not appear from thin air, there has to be services or products offered in exchange for returns.
Bitcoin can be interpreted as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution or regulator. The price of a bitcoin can be unpredictably high or low due to its young economy, therefore it is treated as a high risk asset.
You might ask, what makes it so unique then? Bitcoin is unique because it is supported by a blockchain technology that allows us to securely transfer the ownership of units without going through any financial institutions or regulators. It is known to be the future currency of mankind because it is not controlled or regulated by any authority and their flow is determined entirely by market demand.
Carbon credit on the other hand, is a financial instrument that allows the holder, usually an energy company, to emit one ton of carbon dioxide. Credits are awarded to countries or groups that have reduced their greenhouse gases below their emission quota.
So how does carbon credit works? Carbon credits are typically measured in tonnes of CO2 equivalents. They are bought and sold through number of international brokers, online retailers and trading platforms. Businesses that find it hard to comply with carbon emissions, purchase carbon credits to offset their emission by making finance readily available for renewable energy projects, forest protection and reforestation projects around the world.
The misleading and confusing part arise in our current market when unauthorised “investment company” combined carbon credit with the concept of bitcoin into a new currency and packaged it as a type of investment product to offer in market. While public investors are generally fresh to this new idea, it is highly likely they will fall into the trap without proper researching prior to investing.
Carbon token is an example of a type of cryptocurrency investment related to carbon credit that is happening in the market. To give a brief explanation on how carbon token is proposed to investors by individuals/entities, is by convincing public on the potential increase of value in these carbon token which are driven by trading of carbon credit in the international market.
According to an official website shared by CarbonToken, it explains that carbon credit plus blockchain equals to carbon token. With the demand of energy growing over time, more companies would be selling carbon credits to commercial and individuals who are interested in lowering their carbon footprint, which directly translate to the growing demand and value of carbon credit in the market.
The tricky parts comes in when blockchain is involved. Blockchain is only a digital ledger in which transactions made in cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. By combining carbon credit and a digital ledger mechanism, they were trying to convince investors that this new cryptocurrency (in this case, carbon token) has unlimited potential amidst the growth of green initiative market.
The website further explains that carbon token issued is based on “real time big data world population numbers”, which deviates from their initial statement and conflicts with the mechanism of how blockchain works. To make matters even more confusing, it then started showing figures and analysis which are not supported by valid source or how these figures were derived. With sentences like unaudited carbon token price and carbon token potential value, it seems to trigger public suspicion. Investment involving public funds but is ‘unaudited’ holds significant risk, with risk of being a fraud or scam, whereby an independent professional body is not engaged to verify the reliability of those figures. Furthermore, the website also features the Board of Blockchain Mastermind, name Carbon Cash Berhad, which we could safely assume that it is the company that manages public investment for the type of carbon token they are offering.
However, both BitCoin Malaysia (http://bitcoinmalaysia.com/2017/02/12/public-statement-regarding-goal-green-or-carbon-credit-berhad/) and Climate Protectors has made legal announcement on 12th February 2017 and 14th March 2017 respectively, that they are not associated with Carbon Cash Berhad or Goal Green.
We further investigated by looking up on SSM for company profiles of Carbon Cash Berhad and Goal Green. Strangely, Carbon Cash Berhad is not registered on SSM, while Goal Green Enterprise is newly registered only in March 2017, with a registered business type of farming, selling and distributing agriculture product.
We also found the same company name expired in 2014, but registered in the business of IT products.
“Shall this lagenda happen to you again?”
“Do you want to miss BIG opportunity like this again- and regret forever?”
The above header in the website is sufficient to flag up skepticism on how the whole carbon token mechanism works by now if one is still unaware. And this is why bitcoins and carbon trading are susceptible to scam in the eyes of the public.
Here’s some of the online presence that they goes by:
Research and Written by Merryn Choong