Jordan Belfort, a former Wall Street stockbroker and fraudster who was immortalized by Leonardo Di Caprio in the movie “Wolf of Wall Street” recently stated that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are the ‘biggest scam ever’ and added that they will blow up in the cryptocurrency community’s face.
While speaking to the Financial Times, Belfort, who spent nearly two years in prison for securities fraud, stated that ICOs are going to end up wrecking amateur investors and will “blow up in people’s faces.”
He notably stated:
“[ICO] promoters are perpetuating a massive scam of the highest order on everyone. Probably 85% of people out there don’t have bad intentions, but the problem is, if five or 10 percent are trying to scam you, it’s a fucking disaster.”
He went on to compare the current excitement for ICOs, which sees startups, corporations, and individuals participate, to that of 1970s “blind pools” where brokerages raised funds from investors, without even disclosing how the money would be spent. Belfort sees ICOs blowing up in such a way, that he even stated they are “far worse” than everything he was ever doing.
Belfort, who in the past reportedly agreed with Jamie Dimon when he stated bitcoin was “a fraud” revealed that his comments were aimed at scammers who are trying to use ICOs to manipulate and scam eager investors. He added:
“Everyone and their grandmother wants to jump in right now. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with the idea of cryptocurrencies, or even tulip bulbs. It’s the people who will then get involved and bastardise the idea.”
Belfort isn’t a bitcoiner
This time, Belfort criticized the current ICO mania, which saw over $3.2 billion raised so far this year according to data from CoinSchedule, but the “Wolf of Wall Street” has in the past attacked bitcoin as well.
Earlier this year, in an interview with The Street, Jordan revealed that he thinks bitcoin is a fraud because the cryptocurrency isn’t backed by central banks. To him, per the interview, bitcoin isn’t a safe currency as people can steal it from him, and is only backed by “nothing other than a program that creates artificial scarcity.” The idea, Belfort revealed, is bizarre to him.
It’s clear that the Wall Street fraudster won’t be buying any bitcoin. Meanwhile, people in countries like Zimbabwe, where the government has failed, are buying bitcoin at nearly twice the global average on the Golix.io exchange.