A Twitter hashtag relating to a purported artificial intelligence crypto token called “CryptoGPT” has been trending on Twitter.
Alongside it, a number of very similar-looking Twitter accounts have also sprung up — some of which have been touting likely fake giveaways.
As of the time of writing, “Download CryptoGPT” was trending, with 6,185 tweets associated with it. GPT-4 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4), an unreleased neural network created by OpenAI, was also trending with 4,683 tweets.
Meanwhile, dozens of Twitter accounts sporting the name “CryptoGPT” can also be found on Twitter, with some offering likely fake giveaways or airdrops
Many of these accounts describe the purported project as allowing users to use blockchain to monetize their data with AI. The system is based on Ethereum and scales with a zero-knowledge rollup layer-2 network.
The project purportedly aims to attract decentralized application developers to build on its blockchain. CrypoGPT will offer its GPT tokens as payment for anonymous user data generated from the usage of these DApps.
Contrary to what its name may suggest, however, the project doesn’t appear to be directly related to the ChatGPT AI chatbot that has taken the internet by storm in recent months.
The crypto token also appears to have backing from certain crypto exchanges, at least from a listing perspective.
On March 8, Bitfinex announced it would list CryptoGPT’s native GPT token two days later, describing it as a project that aims to offer users an opportunity to earn crypto for sharing their anonymized data. Other exchanges that will reportedly list the GPT token include PancakeSwap, ByBit, Gate, MEXC and Bitget, among others.
Earlier this year, blockchain analytics firm PeckShield warned its followers about dozens of alleged “pump & dump” tokens purporting to be related to ChatGPT and Bing AI.
A pump-and-dump scheme typically involves the creators orchestrating a campaign of misleading statements and hype to persuade investors into purchasing tokens, then secretly selling their stake in the scheme when prices go up.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) — a watchdog that oversees audits of public companies in the United States — recently issued an advisory that warned investors about proof-of-reserves (PoR) reports issued by auditing firms.
The PCAOB, backed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), pointed out that investors should not “place undue reliance” on PoR reports, which are not within the board’s oversight authority. The advisory wrote:
“Importantly, investors should note that PoR engagements are not audits and, consequently, the related reports do not provide any meaningful assurance to investors or the public.”
In addition, the board also argued that PoR reports don’t provide assurances on the state of the assets after issuing the report. According to the PCAOB, PoRs don’t reflect if the assets were used, lent or became unavailable to customers after the report’s publication. The board also said that PoR reports do not assure the effectiveness of the crypto entity’s internal controls or governance.
The board noted that PoR reports are not conducted in accordance with the PCAOB auditing standards. Furthermore, the board highlighted a lack of uniformity among service providers of PoR reports.
“Proof of reserve reports are inherently limited, and customers should exercise extreme caution when relying on them to conclude that there are sufficient assets to meet customer liabilities,” the advisory added.
The warning came after many crypto exchanges jumped on the trend of providing PoR reports in an attempt to assure investors of their financial safety after the FTX debacle. On Jan. 19, crypto exchange OKX declared $7.5 billion in liquid assets in its PoR report. On Feb. 23, exchange MEXC Global released its PoR after 45 days of testing.
More recently, crypto exchange Binance added 11 tokens to its PoR report, claiming $63 billion in reserves on March 7.
Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is preparing to hold a new public hearing on a potential ban on staking and lending services in the country.
Thailand’s SEC officially announced on March 8 that the authority is seeking public comments on a draft regulation prohibiting virtual asset service providers (VASPs) from providing or getting involved in any type of crypto staking and lending transactions.
According to the SEC’s policy, VASPs should not be allowed to deploy users’ deposits and provide lending services to prevent possible damage to investors in the case of services’ termination. Additionally, the draft regulation is expected further to clarify the scope of supervision of digital asset businesses because they are currently not fully supervised, the SEC stated, adding:
“The proposed regulation aims to provide greater protection to investors, reduce associated risks, and prevent a misunderstanding that deposit taking and lending services are under the same supervision as regulated digital asset businesses.”
In the announcement, the securities regulator mentioned that the SEC conducted a public hearing on the principle of the proposed regulation in September and October 2022. The draft regulation would essentially prohibit VASPs from accepting user deposits for lending, staking and any further deployment of such assets, offering interest payouts on crypto holdings and advertising such services.
The authority has invited stakeholders and interested parties to submit their feedback and suggestions via the SEC’s website or email by April 7, 2023.
The news comes amid the SEC of Thailand beefing up the country’s cryptocurrency rules in response to the ongoing crisis in the crypto lending industry.
Many major industry lenders — including Voyager Digital, Celsius Network, Genesis Global, Babel Finance and Hodlnaut — have encountered serious liquidity issues amid the ongoing crypto bear market, pushing some firms to restructure or liquidate their business. Gemini, a major crypto exchange founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, is facing a lawsuit from the United States’ SEC for alleged violations in its “Earn” program, designed to offer investors up to 8.05% in annual gains.
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