On Friday, Bloomberg ran a piece about Steve Bannon’s strange, China-centric $27 billion initial coin offering (ICO). On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested him.
According to Bloomberg’s article published on November 12, Himalaya Coin reached its enormous market value within two weeks, after endorsements from former Donald Trump advisor Bannon and exiled Chinese billionaire Wengui Guo.
A promotional music video for Himalaya Coin featured Guo smoking cigars, relaxing on a yacht, and driving a sports car. Bannon and Guo promoted Himalaya Coin aggressively on social media.
- Bannon praised its “monumental” initial success in an interview that Guo shared on the social media site Gettr.
- Bannon also touted Himalaya Coin’s stablecoin, Himalaya Dollar, as an alternative to China’s yuan.
- He appealed to anti-Chinese Communist Party forces like the New Federal State of China and the New Chinese.
Unsurprisingly, Bannon has a lucrative business relationship with the only “exchange” (aptly named Himalaya Exchange) on which traders can buy or sell Himalaya Coin and its related stablecoin, Himalaya Dollar.
The deal enables entities doing business with Guo’s firms to buy products using the Himalaya Dollar.
Bannon hit with contempt of Congress
Bannon is presently indicted. He faces charges related to his snubbing of Congress in its investigation of the January 6 pro-Trump insurrection that briefly overthrew control of the Capitol.
Monday morning, Bannon surrendered to FBI forces. Feds quickly escorted him into a courtroom to face charges.
As a non-executive branch of government, Congress cannot directly enforce its subpoenas to testify before Congressional committees.
Although, it can (and in Bannon’s case, did) issue recommendations for indictments to the Justice Department for enforcement.
Bannon claims that a lawyer instructed him not to answer questions until after judges rule on other cases related to the insurrection.
Trump and associates love to pump
Former US President Trump certainly knows how to enrich his friends at the expense of the American public.
Trump’s endorsement did, however, briefly send Kodak stock from $2.50 to $60 before ultimately collapsing 90% again within a month.
Similarly, Trump in October endorsed a blank-check company of his old colleague from Florida, Digital World Acquisition Corp.
This sent its shares from $10 to $175 before immediately tanking 65%, all within just two days.
Trump endorsed FHFA director Mark Calabria in early 2013, who promised to (but never did) help end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae.
Billionaire John Paulson, who hosted the $500,000-per-person dinner fundraiser for Trump, is one of Fannie Mae’s largest shareholders.
That endorsement sent shares from $0.30 to $6.35 before sinking back to $1.
This week, Trump’s former bosom buddy Bannon, pumped a new crypto just days before his arrest.
Himalaya promises wallet and another ICO, echoing scams before it
Indeed, right up until Bannon’s arrest, he was actively extracting funds from Chinese netizens who clearly believed that he would, at the very least, not be in jail after they bought his cryptocurrency.
With Bannon likely unable to manage the development of the very token he promoted, and a scathing Bloomberg investigation into the funneling of its proceeds, Himalaya Coin faces gale force headwinds.
- His Chinese partner, billionaire Wengui Guo, promoted Himalaya Coin (“H-Coin”) on his YouTube channel, which has about 419,000 subscribers.
- Guo fled China in 2014 in anticipation of corruption charges and has since been unsurprisingly critical of the CCP. He currently lives in the US.
- Britain’s Interpol released a notice in 2017 to worldwide law enforcement agencies that Guo is a fugitive.
Himalaya Exchange promotes Himalaya Coin. It claims Himalaya Coin is easy to buy, sell, and spend with low transaction fees — but so is any cryptocurrency with centralized control.
The platform says it’s working on a mobile app on which holders can store their tokens (a tailored crypto wallet is another common ploy to lure investors).
Himalaya Dollar is an upcoming stablecoin that can be exchanged with the US Dollar, allegedly, at a 1:1 rate.
Himalaya Exchange plans to issue Himalaya Dollar in another private sale.
Bannon’s GTV Media already settled with the SEC
Like any new coin or project in the crypto world, longtime followers of digital assets may wonder whether Himalaya Coin is legit.
GTV Media Group, which Bannon and Guo formed in early 2020, paid $539 million in fines as part of a settlement with the SEC in September.
The SEC alleged that GTV Media Group had conducted an illegal sale of shares and digital securities known as G-Shares and G-Dollars.
Past projects promoted by well-known names like Steven Seagal and Kim Kardashian have turned out to be scams.
Steven Seagal reportedly earned $1 million in cash and tokens for promoting the fraudulent Bitcoiin2Gen and was fined $330,000 in a settlement with the SEC.
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