Austria’s FMA Orders Cloud Crypto Miner INVIA to Halt Operations

INVIA World does not have a license to carry out regulated financial services in Austria.

by Nina Dimitrova
31 May • 2 mins
In Mining

Austria’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has ordered the Vienna-based cloud mining company INVIA World to stop operations.

According to an FMA statement published earlier this week, the regulator has prohibited the business model of the company, by means of a procedural instruction. INVIA World is not licensed by the FMA to offer financial services through the mining of cryptocurrencies and is suspected of unauthorized management of an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) – a regulated business activity under the Austrian law.

“INVIA GmbH is neither licensed by nor supervised by the FMA,” the regulator said in its publication. “The FMA has decided to communicate this information having received a large number of enquiries from consumers.”

Our check on INVIA World’s website (actually, there are two sites and two Facebook pages that provide more or less the same info) revealed that the company is offering mining packages, ranging in prices from EUR 100 to EUR 9000, for 36 months of mining. The company claims to be “an Austrian company based in Switzerland”, but gives its headquarters address on Graben street – a posh commercial street in downtown Vienna, mainly home to cafes, confectioneries and cosmetics and clothing shops of major global brands. The company also says it has several mining farms in China.

Overall, we get the impression that INVIA World is more consistent with the marketing and promotional activities, but does not provide enough purely technical information, which, however confusing for some, is important for those who have some knowledge about mining and can distinguish a genuine company, from a shady money-grabbing operation.

 

Cloud Mining Scams

Cloud mining scams are becoming increasingly common, particularly when the price of Bitcoin was close to USD 20 000. As the mining algorithms are getting more complex and hardware and energy consuming, mining coins on your home computer has become next to impossible, but this has not stopped people from dreaming of getting cryptocurrencies from nothing. They thus enter the cloud mining services, which offer people to rent server space and use it to mine coins. Even though there are some legit companies offering this service (Hashflare, Genesis Mining and Hashing24, to name the most popular), there are also a lot of cloud mining scams.

Even though we are not implying that INVIA World is such a company, we have come across comments in the Bitcointalk forum that it is a scam. A detailed post explains why: lack of important technical information and details about prices, such as the cost of electricity and is it included in the price, mining speed, uptime, maintenance costs, etc. There is no information on what coins are mined, either. All this is important information if one wants to calculate how and if their investment would pay off.

 

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The rounded package prices, as well as the marketing techniques are also suspicious. So are the referral options and payments, typical of multilevel marketing schemes and Ponzi schemes.

We also found a comment from a person in Hungary who says INVIA World has launched an advertising campaign in the country with local celebrities promoting the company. While there is nothing wrong with that, it looks somewhat suspicious.