Cryptocurrencies are hot for a lot of reasons — the lure of big profits, the chance to remake the finance world, a pretty cool technology and so on.
Sure, there are occasional cryptocurrency heists. And the stuff may be playing an ongoing role in money laundering and dark web transactions. But proponents of the new medium of exchange routinely argue it is safe and egalitarian.
Still, blockchain and crypto-related investments are having a hard go of it lately.
Prices for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies took a hit over the weekend after Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett renewed his criticism saying that “If you owned all of the bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25 I wouldn’t take it.”
In another hit for crypto fans, an executive at ZenLedger, a company that offers software to help people figure out the taxes on their crypto gains, was recently fired after questions surfaced over his education and other claims on his résumé.
Zen Ledger, which includes Shark Tank VC Mark Cuban among its backers, won an IRS contract renewal earlier this year.
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The company “helps both crypto investors and tax professionals with tax filings and financial analysis,” according to a description on the Mark Cuban Companies website.
Dan Hannum had been chief operating officer for the company, the New York Times reported in a story detailing how its inquiries led to his ouster.
Hannum claimed on his resumé to hold an MBA from the University of South Carolina and work experience at TD Ameritrade, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. He also claimed to have made millions of dollars for the late talk show host Larry King. None of the claims were true, it turned out.
Hannum was even quoted in the March press release announcing the renewal of its contract with the Civil and Criminal Investigation Units of the IRS.
“The IRS has a mandate to collect $30 billion in crypto tax revenue over the next 10 years and ZenLedger is poised to be the leading provider of software services,” Hannum said in the release at the time.
While ZenLedger’s CEO wouldn’t talk to the Times, Cuban offered some emailed comments to the paper.
“Most of us are naturally trusting, trying to focus on making our business a success, rather than looking underneath every résumé,” Cuban wrote, according to the paper. “People lie, and sometimes they are really good at lying,” he said. “All a company can do is move on,” he added.