SpireBit, which sells itself as a cryptocurrency investment trading platform, scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals in a crypto scam, NPR reports. After NPR looked into the company with regulators, the U.K.-based Financial Conduct Authority issued a public alert that SpireBit was an "unauthorised firm that uses the details of a genuine FCA-regulated firm when offering products and services." The agency described the individuals behind SpireBit as “fraudsters.” Regulators wrote that it would be unlikely for customers to get money back if the firm went out of business. NPR could not determine the leaders of SpireBit, its true location and just how many people have fallen for its deceptive promise of cryptocurrency wealth.
SpireBit’s website claims SpireBit has partnered with established companies in the crypto industry. When reached by NPR, all five of these companies said they had never done business with SpireBit. Its founders and CEO’s LinkedIn profile pictures were found as purchasable stock images. The company’s listed address was actually an address for a company called Saladmaster. Even though there has been a flurry of federal actions against crypto companies, especially since the spectacular collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, the crypto industry still operates in a legal gray area. Unlike traditional banks, the federal government does not backstop crypto with insurance, making crypto investments risky. There has been a 900% increase in total money lost to crypto scams since 2020.