After a management rehaul as well as an unexpected delisting, Caizcoin, a Germany-based company positioning itself as an Islamic blockchain ecosystem, has onboarded UFC rising star Khamzat Chimaev as its ambassador.
The platform has been through some rough patches of and the timing of the ambassadorship is seen as a marketing exercise to smooth things over.
Just last month, exchange platform Bittrex Global delisted Caizcoin, allegedly without any input or consent from Caizcoin.
“This recent unilateral decision taken by Bittrex Global has come as a shocking surprise to us at Caizcoin and our community, as there has been no regulatory reason given for the delisting,” the company said in a statement in April.
According to Caizcoin, it had already paid the listing fee, however, a specific listing date was not specified.
“Despite our patience and thoughtfulness, we have been left with no choice but to take legal action against Bittrex Global. We believe that this is the best way to protect our community and ensure that justice is served,” it said.
Investors holding Caizcoin on Bittrex Global have until the 8th May to withdraw their coins or risk losing all the coins as they will no longer be accessible on the exchange after that.
One controversy after another
The delisting follows a change in top management earlier this year. Philippe Theunissen, previously the company’s chief blockchain officer, took over as CEO from Joerg Hansen in January.
“A lot has happened the last half year, culminating in a complete restructuring of Caiz. The old management was not able to deliver and we cannot accept that,” Caizcoin said in a Tweet last month.
Soon after his appointment, Philippe explained in a video: “If you look at the development of companies, every phase of [a] company needs a different type of leader. In the last few years, we’ve been making sure we have the building blocks ready; but this year is the year we will be going outwards, we will be launching our main net, our blockchain will be ready, we will be listed on exchanges. So, this outward movement for Caiz and this growth phase requires a new type of leadership.”
Established in 2018 by Switzerland-registered Caiz Holding, Caizcoin claims to be compliant with Shariah principles and that it had received several Fatwas from a World Islamic Blockchain Federation, an organization seemingly based in Turkiye whose ownership and management are not known.
Caiz Holding is founded by Hamdi Küçüktepe, a Frankfurt-based lawyer, who according to blockchain due diligence firm Athena Intelligence, is under investigation by the German and US authorities for alleged money laundering since January 2021.
Caizcoin said it had developed the Islamic Federated Byzantine Agreement, a Fiqh compliant consensus mechanism which it says improves upon the Stellar Federated Byzantine Agreement model, which helps nodes in a network agree on which updates to apply to the blockchain network to avoid contradictions. There are no public records that the agreement has been vetted by qualified Shariah scholars.
IFN Fintech cannot confirm if the cryptocurrency is indeed officially certified Shariah compliant as there are no records of the Fatwa in the public sphere.
According to its roadmap, Caizcoin would launch its blockchain, wallet and app this quarter, build partnerships with banks and launch a remittance service in Q3 and introduce tokenization services in the final quarter with a view of launching a Sukuk product early next year.
The company, however, has missed its target milestones multiple times. It was supposed to launch its private blockchain Caizchain in Q1 of 2021 (then Q1 2022) and had delayed the listing of its coin which was originally scheduled for January 2022.