In today’s ExchangeWire news roundup: SEC charges 11 people for their roles in international crypto-Ponzi scheme; TikTok is predicted to surpass Facebook in influencer marketing spending before the end of the year; and Jack Ma resigns from Ant Group, delaying the company’s launch of an IPO.
11 charged for Forsage crypto Ponzi scheme
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged 11 people with developing and marketing a crypto Ponzi and pyramid schemes. Forsage raised over US$300m (£245m) from retail investors on an international scale throughout smart contracts that operated on the Ethereum, Tron and Binance blockchains.
The accusations signal a wider attack on digital currencies in the US and come as the dating giant Match has abandoned plans bringing cryptocurrency and NFTs to its flagship app Tinder.
TikTok is expected to surpass Facebook in influencer marketing spending
New data from Insider Intelligence has suggested so TikTok is on its way to surpassing Facebook in terms of influencer marketing spend before the end of the year. The short-form video app is also expected to surpass YouTube in the same area by 2024.
Insider Intelligence’s report also highlights the rapid growth in marketing spend of “nano” influencers, which is expected to increase by 220.5% this year. Spending on partnerships with “mega” influencers, by comparison, is expected to increase by just 8%.
Ant Group IPO delayed as Jack Ma steps down
Chinese fintech giant Ant Group faces a further delay in its IPO as founder Jack Ma plans to relinquish control of the company.
The billionaire’s retreat had been under consideration for some years, sparked by Beijing’s derailment of the company’s blockbuster IPO back in 2020 and its broader crackdown on the technology industry. Ma’s decision to step down now means Ant Group will have to delay plans for an IPO for up to three years, depending on where the group decides to sell its shares.
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17.5 million – number of users TikTok is expected to reach in the UK in 2022.