Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the “biggest scam ever,” according to Jordan Belfort, better known as the “Wolf of Wall Street.”
Speaking at an interview with the Financial Times, the promotional speaker, former financier and convicted stock fraudster said that he expects projects utilizing the blockchain funding model – through which cryptographic tokens are sold in order to fund a newly developed network – will “blow up in so many peoples’ faces.”
Noting his own involvement with financial fraud, Belfort claimed that what’s happening around ICOs today is “far worse than anything I was ever doing.”
Belfort plead guilty to money laundering and stock manipulation charges in 1999, going on to write about his experiences in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (which later became an Academy Award-winning film starring Leonardo DiCaprio).
He went on to say:
“Promoters are perpetuating a massive scam of the highest order on everyone. Probably 85 percent of people out there don’t have bad intentions, but the problem is, if five or 10 per cent are trying to scam you, it’s a disaster.”
Belfort’s comments come weeks after he threw his support behind JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who declared that, in his view, bitcoin is a “fraud” that will ultimately be targeted by regulators. Speaking with TheStreet in late September, Belfort said he that agreed with Dimon’s assessment.
“Sooner or later, a central bank or a consortium is going to issue their own cryptocurrency and that’s what will take hold,” he said at the time.