A bunch of rogues or industry pioneers?
I have been writing about the markets for several years, mainly on my own blogs but also for other people. The idea of writing blogs like https://tradingtrends.wordpress.com/ or www.fxtent.co.uk was to keep track of my trading experience both thoughts and actions. As looking over old trades in a journal is a great way to spot mistakes as well as some of the things that actually went well. Most recently my paid work was through www.youtrading.com and I'll discuss that more in another post. This post is about what I have found since looking around LinkedIn for possible new venues to publish my analysis.
One particular advert caught my eye:
Now I don't know that much about crypto other than I own some BTC and ETH through Coinbase. What I do like to do though is get involved in a market and then write about it as I get to D(Y)(M)OR as well as find new opportunities by having skin in the game. There were other adverts from Finixio looking for content writers more akin to what I had done in the past, so I started to look deeper into the company to find out what else I could possibly write about.
After my negative experience with youtrading.com and a particular contributor there, I have taken it upon myself to do more due diligence on the type of people I could be working with as anyone who has been in the industry will attest, there are a lot of rogues, spivs, charlatans, and liars and you really need to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Finixio is currently coming under the chaff and here are the red flags that I found.
Companies House is a great starting point and the https://docdro.id/xBxjSzF document from Haines Watts is quite revealing. I've personally never come across an auditor resigning but under the current climate, I can understand why they have. When FTX unraveled in November 2022 it was quick and a lot of companies got burned. No one wants to go to jail for missing something obviously dubious and by the sounds of it Finixio Ltd. didn't come up with the answers needed to give Haines Watts a clear conscience.
So who is Profitoro OU? and what do they have in common with Finixio Ltd?
https://www.inforegister.ee/en/16024451-PROFITORO-OU does quite a good job at pointing a finger at Profitoro OU being owned by Samuel Broadbent Miranda, and that the company was registered in Estonia (Sadama 4, 10111 Tallinn, Estonia). It also has some connection with CdM Corporate Services https://corporateservices.ee/ which would appear to be providing legal services within Estonia. Their tagline is "We provide all corporate services needed to run a company, so you can concentrate on your business ."
So who is Samuel Broadbent Miranda? He is currently one of the directors of Finixio Ltd and Psychic Ventures Ltd, Napoleon Digital Ltd(Dissolved), and Investoo Ltd(Resigned).
So what does Finixio Ltd actually do? It turns out they have their fingers in a lot of pies and a lot of well-known trading websites are associated with them.
This is the blurb they have on their LinkedIn profile:
Finixio is a leading digital marketing company owning and operating over 100 websites, including 15 leading comparison brands in almost every language can think of. We are masters of high value verticals, and dominate markets such as iGaming, Sports Betting / Casino, Cryptocurrency, Forex & Online Trading, Stocks & Shares, Personal Finance, Loans, Banking, Cyber Security & Software Technology, and Health / Nutrition. Our websites and tech are completely our own; we are not an agency! The sites and marketing campaigns we operate appeal to audiences worldwide, covering news, education, comparison, and reviews.
Get in touch with our business team to find out more about how we can drive targeted traffic and customers to your brand. Our journey started in 2018 and we now have nearly 200 people based all over the world. We have successfully adopted a fully remote working operation – meaning you’ll find our elite team working from anywhere with an internet connection. We are a fun, fast paced and rapidly growing company. There are no ego’s, and no red tape, but plenty of opportunity on offer. We operate a flexible and relaxed environment, mixed with a results driven ‘can do’ mentality; encouraging ownership and ultimately getting results. We also place importance on remaining agile at all times, meaning we can react to interesting market movements and opportunities to break into new markets. Culture is very important for us, and it’s especially vital to nurture this in an increasingly remote, digital workplace. Without our people, there wouldn’t be a Finixio, and this is why we strive to provide a first class environment to operate within.
Operating over 100 websites? From an advertorial that they posted on Finance Magnates https://www.financemagnates.com/thought-leadership/finixio-bullish-on-crypto-and-increases-acquisitions-investments/ some of those 100 websites and partners include Binance, eToro, Crypto.com, Cryptosvet.cz and Coinbase. The hub of which comes from a sub-brand company called CryptoPR.com.
It makes sense to gather everyone around one company like Finixio or CryptoPR as advertisers like to know that the money they spend will be used to get their message in front of as many people's eyeballs as possible.
And this is not Samuel's first rodeo. He has done this before. Psychic Ventures was the exact same model. Gather a lot of websites within the same popular niche and then distribute content across all of them. And through Psychic Ventures and Investoo Ltd Samuel's business partner in Finixio Ltd, Adam Grunwerg is introduced.
Investoo Ltd was previously Das Ventures Ltd and was listed as an advertising agency.
Going by the LinkedIn profiles of both they would have met in the marketing department of Catena Media before Adam left to set up Investoo Group with Samuel being his partner.
I say Adam set up the companies as he clearly left the University of Manchester with his degree in Economics and set up ARG Media Ltd. The family business has money, so I am going to speculate that Adam is the money. ARG Media Ltd. set out to be a digital marketing company within the Finance, education, and Gaming industry. So the genesis of Finixio Ltd. While Adam was setting this agency up Samuel was contributing to websites in the online gambling and trading worlds before being appointed as a director in Catena Media in 2014. Investoo also had another Catena Media director, David Merry.
The Psychic Ventures company still continues to trade and in 2022 had £652,495 in the bank. It has nearly been struck off by the Gazette twice but that was discontinued in the last couple of weeks. As it was in 2022. The https://www.psyventures.com/ doesn't resolve to a website anymore, so it is hard to see where that £652,495 is being generated. The https://web.archive.org/web/20230000000000*/https://www.psyventures.com/ web crawl shows that the spiders haven't either visited the site in 2023 or they haven't been able to. i.e. it stopped existing in 2023. Back in 2018 Psy Ventures was partnered or hosting 12+ websites targeting different verticles. FreePsychics.com , OnlineCounsellors.com, PsychicGuild.com NewAgeJournal.com SpiritualGuidanceTarot.com ConspiracyTalk.info Spells-and-Potions.com HauntedSociety.com PsychicTV.net PsychicVampire.org ParanormalPeopleOnline.com Domains: OnlineTarot.com OnlinePsychics.com FortuneTelling.com AngelNumbers.com LocalPsychics.com you get the picture :) But you won't because they don't anymore. All of the GoDaddy domains error out.
So I would conclude that the model is to get as many websites interconnected to then push out content to all from a single hub. Then sell advertising, advertorials, etc. to companies guaranteeing a certain size audience. It worked in the psychic realm, it definitely works in the crypto and forex worlds and through their shared work experience they know it works in the gambling worlds too. But where did all the money come from? It is a mystery.
So other than the misrepresented crypto transactions to 3rd parties were there any other red flags? Well at first I thought they were also behind Finixio Ai. But Finixio AI has nothing to do with Finixio Ltd. though the two would be very compatible. As FinixioAI gathers personal data and sends it to 3rd parties.
There is this write-up directed solely at Finixio Ltd. https://blog.sircles.net/page/finixio-ltd-aka-fxtimes-and-cryptovibes which is really digging into the 'Fake' and 'Fraudulent' nature of the reviews and affiliates. It is also too large a page to summarise. So for me a big Red Flag. Then there is the /Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/LuckyBlock_SCAM/comments/tmr463/attn_were_you_scammed_by_lucky_block_scott_ryder/ which even calls on those affected to contact crime stoppers.
Everyone remembers this https://twitter.com/OCCRP/status/1333848363134029824 in which Marcus Rashford legendary world cup and Manchester United football player gets used in a promotion for a crypto robot - seems Finixio Ltd was behind that too. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/nov/30/marcus-rashford-bitcoin-ads-premier-league
A simple google search and you can see where this is heading!
So what about Profitoro, well based on the terms and conditions page, Bitcoin Prime is operated by Profitoro Ltd and was founded by Steve Mckay. That doesn't look good https://scamcryptorobots.com/bitcoin-prime-review-scam/ There is also https://blog.sircles.net/page/bitcoin-trader-scam and the list goes on. https://www.resch-investmentfraud.com/warnings/standard-titel-1.html Profitoro Ltd is not the same as Profitoro OU because Profitoro Ltd doesn't even exist.
The FCA warns users against clone firms https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/forex-trading-scams so I could imagine it is easy for someone like Steve McKay to set up a company with a similar name and clone not only the name but Profitoro OU and Finixio Ltd business model. So we know that cloning websites are the business model of scammers, but what does a legit business model look like?
Starting with Finixio Ltd. partnering with eToro. Two very legit companies :) We can extrapolate that what happens here happens across all the partner websites.
Finixio will write a review and post it on a 3rd party website. It just so happens that if eToro is mentioned, they're at the top of the review.
For example, what were the 5 best crypto apps for the UK in 2022?
Well according to the Finixio-sponsored advertorial it was…
eToro! who would have guessed? But hang on crypto.com, Coinbase, and Binance are mentioned too. Well, would you believe it? Now, this is not illegal but is it a bit off? If you were a novice trader looking for a legit company would you find one? Yes, through this review you would. But if all of the companies are coming from the crypto.pr machine is this a problem?
Ideally, as a newbie, you just want to be treated well, and for your money to be at least safely transferred into the market rather than taken by Steve. But are you really getting the best advice? or the product that is promoted the hardest? Considering blockchain and crypto are supposed to be decentralized it would appear that the marketing is not.
Do I want to apply for a job with Finixio Ltd.? clearly not, and if that company can't find an auditor it will be interesting to follow along with what actually happens. As a retail trader, the marketing of a company is generally what gets you. Whether it be an ad on the tube or billboard. A banner on a review website or a trader acting as an Introducing Broker. It's a fucking minefield, and to top it off when you find yourself in a relatively safe space, the layers of education and marketing lead 80% of traders to lose. Trading is hard and full of pitfalls. Finding a trusted source of unbiased direct information that will help you is almost impossible. Stay warned and be nimble.