Waste power claims all a load of hot air; Alarm bells ring as 4New's 'President' is located in US prison.
A NEW investment scheme seems cursed with some sort of reverse Midas touch.
According to its website, 4New raised PS34million from investors.
Just a few months later, its market capital, or total value, is now less than PS50,000.
4New claimed to be at the forefront of two innovations, green energy and cryptocurrencies.
It pointed out that currencies use vast amounts of computing energy, saying a single Bitcoin transaction consumes more power than 30 US households use in a day.
So it came up with the idea of providing the necessary power from energy plants that produce electricity from waste.
Investors could buy its Kwatt tokens, which could be traded on cryptocurrency markets like company shares.
"The value of Kwatts will increase with each new plant opened as more energy is allocated to each token," one of its videos boasted.
Before the launch of the Kwatt last summer, 4New's website gave the impression that the first two wasteto-energy plants were ready.
"4New's power plants earn enough revenue from cleaning city waste and governmental incentives to cover the entire running costs of the power plant," it gushed.
'' 4New even crypto or two in the "4New's real innovation is to take this electricity that is generated from the waste and use it to power a massive cryptomining farm."
But 4New never owned a crypto mine or the two waste-to-energy plants it named in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool.
I asked founder Varun Datta if investors had been led up the garden path.
"My intention was never to mislead anyone who was investing in 4New," he replied.
"The company has always maintained in all its articles that it has 'secured' its interest in the power plants and not bought them as the latter would be confirming that we had actually acquired the plants.
"The use of 'secured' indicates a deal has been reached but not yet finalised."
As for all the money that was raised, he said it is still in third-party escrow accounts.
What about the projections on the 4New website showing that the $50,000 Kwatt token would rise to $200,000 in the first year, reaching $820,000 in the third year?
Datta, 31, referred me to the disclaimer stating: "Actual performance results may differ from those projected."
Meanwhile, investors are receiving zero returns.
Datta insisted: "Our investors have understood and are working with us to find an alternative which is good for everyone."
Another key figure at 4New was Saransh Sharma, who was listed as President on its website last summer but who has since disappeared.
Is this because he's the same Saransh Sharma as the bankrupt one serving 33 months in a US prison for fraud? "When we learnt about this we removed him from the company," said Datta.
He has given Companies House an address in London, but online articles link him to a police investigation into a property deal in India five years ago that turned sour.
"The comments that you have raised have been addressed by the UK court who confirmed that there was no wrongdoing on my part," he said.
What's certain is that the markets are not impressed.
4New's Kwatt has fallen from a peak of 11 cents in August to less than a hundredth of that, now trading at around 0.1 of a cent.
'' 4New never even owned a crypto mine or two plants in the North
INSIDE Saransh Sharma, left, and right, firm's founder Varun Datta
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Feb 28, 2019|
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