Delaware Investigates Fake BlackRock XRP ETF Filing, Exposing Registration System Vulnerabilities

Estimated read time 3 min read
  • Delaware’s Department of Justice is investigating a fraudulent filing falsely claiming that BlackRock was launching an XRP ETF.
  • Concerns arise about the verification process within Delaware’s corporate registration system.

The Delaware Department of Justice has initiated an investigation into a suspicious filing made on Monday, falsely suggesting that BlackRock, a well-known asset management firm, was preparing to launch a spot XRP exchange-traded fund (ETF). This development has sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency community as it grapples with the implications of such deceptive practices.

Remarkably, the false filing was still visible on the Delaware Department of State’s Division of Corporations website as of Tuesday afternoon. It strikingly resembled legitimate paperwork that BlackRock had filed just the previous week for its iShares Ethereum Trust product. That genuine filing preceded BlackRock’s application to U.S. regulators for a spot ether ETF.

The fraudulent XRP filing had an immediate impact, leading to a rapid 10% surge in the token’s price before BlackRock refuted the claims, asserting that it had no plans to launch such a fund. This incident underscores the significant influence that corporate filings can wield over market dynamics, especially in the volatile domain of cryptocurrencies.

Flaws in the Filing Process

The ease with which this fraudulent filing was made has raised serious questions about the integrity and security of the process for registering trusts in Delaware. According to the state’s official website, the process for forming a new business entity involves seven steps, all accessible through interactive PDF forms online.

A crucial requirement is the necessity for an entity to secure a registered agent within Delaware, which can either be a resident or a legally authorized business entity. However, this incident exposes a critical vulnerability: the simplicity of providing a name and address, which can be effortlessly duplicated from another filing. In this case, the imposter appears to have merely copied the registered agent’s details—Daniel Schwieger, a BlackRock managing director—from the authentic filing.

This event has triggered a broader discussion about the safeguards in Delaware’s corporate registration system, especially in terms of verifying the authenticity of entities and individuals filing for trusts. The ability for malicious actors to exploit the system not only jeopardizes the credibility of corporate filings but also poses significant risks to financial markets, as demonstrated by XRP’s price reaction to the fraudulent news.

In summary, the investigation by the Delaware Department of Justice into the deceptive XRP ETF filing attributed to a fake BlackRock entity highlights the pressing need for enhanced security measures within the state’s corporate registration process. This incident serves as a cautionary tale about the potential market manipulations that can arise from such systemic vulnerabilities.

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