Arbitrade unveils bold plans for Bermuda
From expecting to be granted title to $10 billion in physical gold, to a pledge to support programmes in Bermuda that will see gang members paid to work on chicken farms, it is hard to know where to start with the latest news attributed to Arbitrade.
The cryptocurrency exchange and coin company has said it will set up its global headquarters in Victoria Hall in Hamilton, purchasing the $6.5 million seven-storey office block.
Some bold statements have been made in a reported telephone press conference about what Arbitrade would like to do for Bermuda, including:
• A donation of $1 million to what is claimed to be the Bermuda Government’s $4 million purchase of a Park Place building for a fintech incubator space;
• A $45,000 donation to a gang violence reduction proposal that is to include gang members being paid to work on chicken farms.
• A $30,000 donation towards the ALICE programme for active-shooter preparedness taught by the FBI at schools and local charities.
• A $25,000 donation to the Mirrors programme.
• A $25,000 donation to The Family Centre.
It makes for an impressive list, together with prior talk by Len Schutzman, chief executive officer of Arbitrade, about plans for hundreds of jobs for the island as a result of Arbitrade setting up its global HQ at Victoria Hall.
So far, there has been no comment from the Government on Arbitrade’s presence in Bermuda or its intentions, other than a message on Twitter by David Burt, the Premier, who in May said he attended a presentation by Arbitrade at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
The latest details from Arbitrade emerged after a telephone press conference conducted by the company on Thursday. The Royal Gazette had tried to connect to the call-in live, but the attempt was aborted 20 minutes after the scheduled start due to inactivity on the line. The reason for the delayed start was later given as technical difficulties.
The Royal Gazette was told it would receive an audio recording of the conference, but this has not happened.
However, in reported recordings and transcripts of the conference call posted online, Troy Hogg, the founder of Arbitrade, begins by defending himself against social media and online attacks, and saying he does not have the time to argue online and “defend myself”, however, he adds that he will be creating his own website and blog “giving full occurrence of everything through my attorneys, through my publicists, and through our agents”.
Regarding Arbitrade, he said it had passed through the KYC/AML [Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money Laundering] process with Bermuda, and the business has built “the most robust system in the entire crypto sector, and we will be revealing that in early September”.
He said: “We are building an infrastructure that allows for payment merchant services. It allows for trading of cryptocurrencies. It allows for interest payments on cryptocurrencies held within our platform. I guess you could call it the all-in-one merchant banking platform.”
Mr Hogg also said: “In partnership with Sion Trading FZE, out of Dubai, which is one of the only licensed gold traders on the Dubai Gold Exchange, we will be granted $10 billion worth of physical gold, which we are receiving title to. Agreements are in place and signed.”
A man then introduces himself as being from Sion Trading. He said the parent company was Scotia International in the US. He said: “We’re a gold trading facility, in-ground asset facility, mining clone concept 224, and trade on an open market. We’re 100 per cent committed behind and thoroughly ecstatic about what’s been afforded us the opportunity to be a part of Arbitrade.”
Mr Hogg extended gratitude to the people of Bermuda and detailed how Arbitrade will assist the island. He said it had been asked to allow the people of Bermuda “the first right of a free ICO [initial coin offering] position when we launch our ICO. We accept those terms”.
He then mentioned a $1 million donation to “the Government’s state-of-the-art co-working space, an incubator for the new fintech sector. The Government has purchased a building at Park Place for $4 million, and Arbitrade will be donating $1 million for the refurbishment and launch of that facility in the coming months ahead.”
The donation was expected to happen early this week.
Mr Hogg then spoke about how it would like to help Bermuda with a number of donations.
“The Government has launched a gang violence reduction proposal with the BDA [Bermuda Business Development Agency] and the Government, and Arbitrade would like to help them in their therapeutic gardening initiative, where five acres have been given to the government where gang members are taught therapeutic farming and plant husbandry.
“And then, also chicken farming. Gang members will be paid to work on the chicken farms, but this costs money, and Arbitrade would like to assist in that as we help Bermuda develop the most advanced student and young person learning process into the fintech sector, and to help them get off the streets and into education, Arbitrade will donate $45,000 to that initiative.”
Mr Hogg continues by speaking about Arbitrade’s desire to make donations regarding the ALICE and Mirrors programmes, and to The Family Centre.
He concludes the conference call by saying no questions will be taken “but that will come at a later date”.
The Royal Gazette has contacted the Government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority to seek details on the status of Arbitrade and its reported comments, and is awaiting responses. The Bermuda Business Development Agency said it has not been involved with the group.
The Royal Gazette has reached out to New York-based Marston Webb International, which is the media contact for Arbitrade, and is awaiting a response.
• A transcript of the conference call appears in the Cryptocurrency Business Group website, posted by Tom Mitsoff, a bitcoin coach and author. It can be read at: https://tinyurl.com/yb9qvsfr. An audio recording of the conference call can be found on YouTube at https://tinyurl.com/y9m37co6
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