15th November 2023 – (Delaware) The Delaware Department of Justice is reportedly investigating a fraudulent filing that suggested asset management giant BlackRock (BLK) was preparing to launch a spot XRP exchange-traded fund (ETF). The fake filing, which was still accessible on the Delaware Department of State’s Division of Corporations website as of 2.30pm ET on Tuesday, closely resembled last week’s legitimate filing by BlackRock for its iShares Ethereum Trust product. The legitimate filing was made shortly before BlackRock submitted an application for a spot ether ETF to U.S. regulators.
Upon the release of the fake XRP filing, the token experienced a more than 10% surge in value before a BlackRock spokesperson informed CoinDesk that the company had no intention of launching such a fund. The matter has since been referred to the Delaware Department of Justice for investigation, according to a spokesperson from the Delaware Department of State.
The ease with which a Trust can be filed under a false name and entity, as well as the verification process involved, has raised questions. The Delaware website outlines seven steps for forming a new business entity, with interactive PDF forms available on the website for completion. The most crucial requirement is the appointment of a registered agent in the State of Delaware, who can either be a resident or a business entity authorized to conduct business in the state. However, it appears that all that is necessary for the filing is the name and address, which could easily be replicated from another filing. In this instance, the imposter seemingly only copied and pasted the registered agent’s information—Daniel Schwieger, a managing director at BlackRock according to his LinkedIn profile—from the legitimate filing.