What is LEOcoin?
LEOcoin is a new digital currency that claims to use “advanced cryptography and encryption methods.” It calls itself a “truly anonymous digital currency” and claims that other digital currencies, like Bitcoin, are only anonymous on a superficial level.
The LEOcoin company was founded in 2012, although the currency didn’t officially exist until May 2014. The currency was also officially launched on April 2, 2015, when it opened on the Hong Kong exchange.
Goal of LEOcoin
The team behind this project seems to recognize the uphill battle they face, and wants to differentiate their coin by optimizing it for business transactions. LEOcoin, using a proof-of-stake algorithm, is “designed to be a world currency and the currency of choice for entrepreneurs,” as stated on the project’s website. “We combine development skills, international infra-structure [sic], [and] real world entrepreneurial know how,” the website reads, “creating a platform for growth second to none.”
Who Created LEOcoin?
The official LEOcoin website lists the company’s core development team. That team is made up of 17 individuals from all over the world. The website lists the name of each developer along with a link to their LinkedIn page and, sometimes, their Facebook profile.
The company was founded by Dan Anderson and Atif Kamran. Oddly enough, the names of those people change depending on where you look. At the official LEOcoin.org website, the founder’s name is spelled Dan Anderson. At his Facebook profile and LinkedIn page, it’s spelled Dan Andersson.
According to the official site, Dan has had a prolific career in the direct selling industry and has consulted for Fortune 500 companies over the years. He lives in the UK. Atif Kamran grew up in Pakistan but currently lives in London, UK. He worked as European Training Manager for “the number one Chinese direct selling company globally.” He also claims to have trained tens of thousands of distributors and has over a decade of industry experience.
The company lists its current address as Battle Barns at 112 Preston Crowmarsh Oxfordshire, OX10 6SL, United Kingdom.
The LEOcoin Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the development of LEOcoin. The mission of the LEOcoin Foundation is to promote the use of LEOcoin and other legitimate digital currencies. Currently the LEOcoin Foundation holds 10 million LEOcoin.
Through PR, lobbying and providing information to the cryptocurrency world, general public, entrepreneurs and policymakers, the LEOcoin Foundation seeks make LEOcoin one of the leading digital currencies. LEOcoin Foundation expects that LEOcoin and other legitimate digital currencies will ultimately form a key component in the global monetary system.
Actions by the LEOcoin Foundation on behalf of LEOcoin:
• Promote LEOcoin with PR, news-updates and videos in social media, with technological policy makers and amongst entrepreneurs all over the world.
• Represent LEOcoin in the cryptocurrency world by joining forums to inform about LEOcoin and to answer questions, getting listed on websites that show digital currencies by market capital, supporting mining pools and teaming up with leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
• Support projects that endorse the distribution and use of LEOcoin, like ATM machines, API for web developers, online payment systems, merchant promotion and LEOcoin Wallets.
Where Can You Spend LEOcoins?
The LEOcoin organization claims you can spend the currency at over 30,000 merchants around the world. In one interview with IBTimes.co.uk, founder Dan Andersson claimed that he wanted to surpass Bitcoin in terms of widespread availability.
Today, Bitcoin is accepted at 90,000 retailers around the world, including retail giants like Microsoft, Dell, and Rakuten.
When asked to provide a sample list of LEOcoin merchants, Dan appeared to become hesitant: he said the focus has been on small and medium-sized businesses because they’re the businesses that truly “drive digital currency forward.”
When the interviewer asked for a list of the names of merchants, a LEOcoin representative said the following:
“We are unable to provide a full list of merchants, the reason is we would need their permission before we publish information about them. What we can say is that there are currently (to date) 32,083 LEOcoin merchants registered from 41 countries.”
If LEOcoin’s figures are to be believed, then the currency would be the world’s second largest based on the number of merchants accepting it.
Ultimately, that IBTimes article was titled “LEOcoin: ‘Bitcoin rival’ launches amid claims of pump and dump scam.”
All LEOcoin trading is done at the LEOxChange (LEOxChange.com). At that website, you’ll see the current price of LEOcoin along with various currency pairs around the world.
The exchange claims to offer the following advantages:
• Fair price because all trading is done directly between members with no intermediaries.
• 0% commissions or transaction fees on purchases, although there is a “small commission” on sales.
• Transparent because it’s easy to view and understand bid and offer prices.
• Secure because the exchange promises to “use high level encryption to keep your trading, environment and personal data safe”.
Other LEOcoin Exchanges
• LEOBIT LEOcoin Exchange – app. 1,850 users (Ljubljana, Slovenia) https://leobit.net/ – 2 trading pairs.
• Bitcoin Trading Ltd. Thailand https://bx.in.th/BTC/LEO/ – 1 trading pair.
• C-cex.com https://c-cex.com – 5 trading pairs.
• Livecoin https://www.livecoin.net/trade/index – 4 trading pairs.
• Cyptopia https://www.cryptopia.co.nz – 7 trading pairs.
• Crypto-trade.net crypto-trade.net – 15 trading pairs.
• TradeSatoshi https://tradesatoshi.com/Exchange?market=LEO_BTC.
• Megacrypton https://live.megacrypton.com – 4 trading pairs.
You can run many instances of LEOcoin wallet but it’s not necessary. You only need one LEOcoin wallet application and from this application you can create as many LEOcoin addresses as you like. Just go to the “Receive” tab and click on the “New address” button.
• Windows 32 &64 bit, Mac OS and Linux, Android App and IOS -http://www.leocoin.org/Default.aspx#about.
• Download the blockchain (for experts)
Is LEOcoin a Pyramid Scheme?
After the IBTimes article that called LEOcoin a “pump and dump” scheme, other media outlets have started to take a closer look at the company.
Many of those claims come from the fact that the founders appear to have previously been involved in a pyramid scheme. That pyramid scheme was called UNAICO Pakistan. Pakistan’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP) issued a formal warning to that company in 2012.
The company claimed to be an “IT development and consulting business.” SECP statements about the company can be found here. Those statements list Dan Anderson (using the version of his name with one “S”) as the CEO of the company.
You can also still view YouTube videos of that company, where Dan claims to share the secrets of successful entrepreneurship, which he claims are “extracted from a life-time’s experience in business, consultancy, direct selling, and global senior executive corporate leadership.” That YouTube video lists Dan Andersson as the president of UNAICO and Atif Kamran as senior director of the company.
The documents from the SECP linked above claim that UNAICO was engaging in fraudulent activities:
“I have closely observed the business activity of the company and noticed that the activities of the company broadly falls within the definition of ‘fraudulent activities’.”
The words “pyramid scheme” are also mentioned numerous times throughout the SECP statement.
The UNAICO evidence was becoming so strong against the founders of LEOcoin that the company was forced to issue an official press release clearing the founders of any wrongdoing. Despite the fact that Dan called himself president of UNAICO and Atif called himself senior director of the company, the two blamed everyone else in the company for the fraud while absolving themselves of any blame.
Even if you believe Dan and Atif’s side of the UNAICO story, the fact that LEOcoin is unwilling to provide a proof of concept or a list of retailers is highly suspicious. The longer LEOcoin goes without disclosing information about the digital currency, the more suspicious people become.
How to Get Started with LEOcoin?
LEOcoin lists four steps to help you get started with the new currency:
Step 1) Download a LEOcoin wallet from leocoin.org (you can download wallets on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux).
Step 2) Get LEOcoins by joining a mining pool, trading for them, or buying them.
Step 3) Spend your LEOcoins “at many online and retail merchants” according to the official website.
Step 4) Join the community and “become part of the LEOcoin family”.
Conclusion: Should You Buy LEOcoin?
The company uses slogans like, “If you missed it with Bitcoin, don’t miss it with LEOcoin.” Those who made an early investment in cheap Bitcoin became millionaires. Some LEOcoin supporters claim the new currency can surpass the price of popularity of Bitcoin before the end of 2015.
LEOcoin has one major red flag, however: there’s no evidence that you can use LEOcoins to buy anything. When a major media publication asked the company to provide a list of retailers accepting the currency, LEOcoin flat-out refused.
As a result, there’s no evidence you can do anything with LEOcoin at this point in time – no matter what the flashy-looking website and sales copy might tell you. If you want to take a big risk and get in early, then it might be worth buying a small number of LEOcoin. Most people, however, will want to wait to see if LEOcoin can survive at least the first year of operation.
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