In today's ExchangeWire news digest: the SEC charges 11 individuals for their roles in an international crypto Ponzi scheme; TikTok is predicted to surpass Facebook on influencer marketing spend before the end of the year; and Jack Ma steps down 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 individuals for developing and marketing a crypto Ponzi and pyramid scheme. Forsage collected over USD$300m (£245m) from retail investors on an international scale through smart contracts that operated on the Ethereum, Tron, and Binance blockchains.
The charges signal towards a wider crackdown on digital currencies in the US and come as dating giant Match has abandoned plans to bring cryptocurrency and NFTs to its flagship app, Tinder.
TikTok expected to surpass Facebook on influencer marketing spend
New data from Insider Intelligence has suggested that TikTok is on course to overtake 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 of marketing spending on “nano” influencers, which is expected to increase 220.5% this year. Spending on partnerships with “mega” influencers, by comparison, is anticipated to rise by only 8%.
Ant Group IPO delayed as Jack Ma steps down
Chinese fintech giant Ant Group faces a further delay to its IPO as founder Jack Ma plans to relinquish control of the company.
The billionaire’s withdrawal had been considered over a few years, ignited by Beijing’s derailment of the company’s blockbuster IPO back in 2020 and its wider crackdown on the tech industry. Ma’s decision to step down now means that Ant Group must delay plans for an IPO for up to three years, depending on where the group decides to sell its shares.
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Fact of the Day
17.5 million - the number of users TikTok is expected to reach in the UK in 2022.