Darshan Bathija started the Indian “blockchain-based finance company” Bank of Hodlers in 2018.

The Bank of Hodlers, in June 2019 was a simple shittoken exit-scam MLM crypto Ponzi. The Bank of Hodlers failed in 2021, which made Bathija give up MLM and start over as Vauld.

Vauld asked people to invest, mostly Indians, by saying that they could make up to 40% a year on different cryptocurrencies.

On July 4, 2022, Bathija stopped Vauld withdrawals, which brought the Ponzi scheme to an end (again). Bathija used “volatile market conditions” and “financial challenges” as an excuse to avoid admitting that Vauld didn’t have enough invested money to pay withdrawals.

Bathija says that investors in Vauld took out $197.7 million in June of 2022. It sounds like the inevitable end of a Ponzi scheme, where withdrawals are more than new investments.

While Bathija is based in India, Vauld is set up as a Singapore shell company, just like Bank of Hodlers. Singapore hasn’t done a good job of stopping offshore securities fraud in the past.

Bathija (on the right) is acting like Vauld is a real company with options instead of just admitting that his new version of a Ponzi scheme failed again.

Vauld has hired Kroll as its financial advisor, as well as the law firms Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

“We think this will make it easier for our financial and legal advisors and us to figure out if possible restructuring options are good for us.”

We want customers of the Vauld platform to understand that we won’t be able to handle any new or additional requests or instructions in this area.

“Specific arrangements will be made for customer deposits needed by some customers to meet margin calls in connection with collateralized loans,” Bathija wrote.

Similarweb says that 55% of the people who visit Vauld’s website come from India. With 14%, the US is the second biggest source of traffic.

Decrypt says that Vauld’s known assets are “around $330 million.” This is based on court documents filed in Singapore, where Vauld has asked for protection from its investors.

The problem is that this amount is only backed by $287.7 million. The difference gets bigger the longer the Ponzi scheme goes on. Singaporean officials aren’t likely to do anything about the scam, but Indian officials have frozen Rs. 370 crore ($46.4 million USD) of Vauld’s assets.

In response to the enforcement action, Vauld said that the freeze was “unfortunate” in a press release. Every country, including India, has strict KYC rules that we have to follow.

We are asking a lawyer about the best way to protect the interests of the company, its customers, and everyone else with a stake in the matter. KYC is not a replacement for registering with financial regulators and filing an audited financial report.

I told Bathija this myself back in June 2019. The conversation started when Bathija said that the Bank of Hodlers was a Ponzi scheme “useless clickbait that hasn’t been researched at all.”

Bathija has locked down all of his social media accounts except for Twitter, which he doesn’t use very often.

It’s not clear if he’s still in India or if he’s already left.

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