Crypto

Notorious Crypto Fund HyperVerse May Have Created Fake CEO

 

The chief executive of the HyperVerse metaverse platform and crypto fund – rated by the US-based blockchain analysts Chainalysis as the most lucrative scam in 2022 – may not exist, according to reports by multiple news outlets.

The Guardian Australia reported on Wednesday that an investigation into the “impressive” qualifications and achievements of HyperVerse’s supposed CEO Steven Reece Lewis appeared to be completely made up and “have no basis in fact”.

It said the Universities of Leeds and Cambridge had no record of such a person earning degrees from them, while Goldman Sachs, the UK companies register and the US Securities and Exchange Commission also had no records of Lewis, and he had no LinkedIn profile.

 

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This was troubling because HyperVerse was promoted in an online launch in December 2021 as a “new digital metaverse that would rival Facebook,” allegedly with video messages of support from celebrities like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and actor Chuck Norris.

In its 2023 Crypto Crime report, Chainalysis said HyperVerse was the most successful scam and “pulled in nearly $1.3 billion in revenue” in 2022.

Some commentators have described HyperVerse as a pyramid or ponzi scheme and alleged that it was promoted by an Australian entrepreneur called Sam Lee and his business partner known as Zijing ‘Ryan’ Xu – co-founders of Blockchain Global, an Australian bitcoin company said to owe creditors tens of millions of dollars.

Australia’s corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), is reportedly probing the collapse of Blockchain Global for possible illegal activity.

The Guardian was unable to contact Lee or Xu, but said Lee had previously denied that HyperVerse was a scam and disputed being its founder.

ASIC has long been criticized as a woeful and inactive corporate regulator and yesterday it drew more flak from Stephen Jones, Australia’s minister for financial services and assistant treasurer, who said he would ask questions about the watchdog’s failure to issue a consumer warning about HyperVerse.

As for the real identity of the man in the photo above, who claimed to be Steven Reece Lewis, that currently remains a mystery.

 

  • Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.

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