USD Coin Claims It Will Help Venezuela, But What’s the Truth?

I’ll be the first to admit that when Jeremy Allaire of Circle announced that, “with US government permission” USD Coin, Circle’s stablecoin, would be working in cooperation with the Gauido government-in-exile my jaw nearly fell right off.

But the truth isn’t so transparent, as typically is the case in not only the cryptocurrency world, but finance and government, as well. Let’s do this.

The Scheme

Money seized from the Maduro government will be placed in a US bank account for Gauido -> Next, that money is used to mint USDC tokens -> After that, the tokens are sent to Airtm wallets, where they are then converted into Airtm “stablecoins” -> after this, healthcare workers, can supposedly access these Airtm tokens and cash out at local ATMs.

This is USDC’s own description of the process.

Do you see a couple extra, unnecessary steps there? Doesn’t take a genius, right?

There are two obviously unnecessary steps:

  1. USDC never needs to be used.
  2. Airtm stablecoins never need to be used.

So… what the f*ck?

Unexplainable

It actually seems like this may be the least efficient way to move dollars/bolivars to Venezuelan relief workers.

And I can’t understand why the government would choose to do things this way. Either they’re incredibly incompetent and did little-to-no due diligence on this plan, or, perhaps, the government has too much going on to care. Possibly, this could be some grift.

But I don’t only say this because of the strange unnecessary nature of it, I say it because I took some time to look into Airtm, and I was not pleased with what I discovered.

What Is Airtm?

The first thing I did was visit their website to find out what I could about them. There was little available.

They’re registered with FinCEN at a quaint little home in Mill Valley (red flag #1):

This look like a money services business to you?

There is no way to get fast, reliable support, and support appears to strictly be in Spanish. There’s no contact number, no employees named or listed, and the site that lists current market rates for currencies and cryptocurrencies is hardly usable (red flag #2).

We’re not done yet. Apparently, Airtm was already being used to facilitate payments to healthcare workers, and the only issue? It didn’t work (red flag #3):

This is taken from a CoinDesk article, available here.

No worries though, right? Let’s just keep going.

So, why would Airtm be chosen? How about the people who invested in this platform, one being Coinbase themselves! (red flag #4)

Okay, fine. Whatever.

After hunting for awhile for any real address where Airtm might be located, I arrived at a location in the heart of Mexico City. Unfortunately, this location is also claimed by a Mexican architecture firm (red flag #5).

That’s Only Airtm, What Else?

None of this, on any level makes sense. But here we are.

Who Cares?

Stay skeptical, friends.

Fraud. Fraud everywhere.