UPDATE: Global organizer calls “Miss Universe Coin” launched at PBW a “scam”


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Update: TCG Social Media Group, a main proponent behind the now-controversial Miss Universe Coin has filed a multi-billion peso lawsuit in Thailand against Miss Universe parent company JKN Global for their statement against the project. According to TCG, the crypto venture was a genuine collaboration with Miss Universe that now faces irreparable damage due to the comments made by JKN.

As reported by BitPinas, Anne Jakrajutatip, the owner of JKN Global, confirmed the legal filing by TCG, but stressed that they continue to stand against the Miss Universe Coin project.

“To our knowledge, we have only a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with TCG to discuss a potential future arrangement re: Miss Universe Coin,” Ms. Jakrajutatip said in a Facebook message to BitPinas. “This MOU strictly forbids any public announcements.”

Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee, who was present at the announcement of the Miss U Coin during Philippine Blockchain Week, has likewise distanced herself from the project through a message made by the Global Spectrum Initiative, her advocacy foundation.

“We wish to clarify that the Global Spectrum Initiative has no association or involvement with the recently introduced ‘Miss Universe Coin; during the Philippine Blockchain Week,” the announcement read. “It’s essential to note that neither Michelle Dee’s participation nor the topic she presented had any connection with the [Miss U Coin] or any other cryptocurrency ventures.”

Michelle Dee presented during the first day of the conference, speaking on the topic of NFTs for Autism.

This is a developing story.

This weekend, JKN Global Group, owner of the Miss Universe Organization, posted a notice online asserting that the “Miss Universe Coin” formally launched during last week’s Philippine Blockchain Week (PBW) conference is a “fraud”.

First announced during PBW’s September 7 press event, the “Miss Universe Gold Coin” was positioned as an official token that fans could use to participate in the pageant. According to PBW lead convener Donald Lim, this token would be the only way for fans to send in votes during the upcoming pageant.

Video from Shiela Bertillo for BitPinas

Vincent Song, Global VP of XT.com took to the PBW stage on September 19 and expounded further on how the token would transform how pageants are run. Using the Gold Coin, he claimed, token holders could:

  • gain access to Miss Universe events,
  • cast votes during the pageant,
  • send gifts to Miss Universe contestants,
  • and pay for Miss Universe products, among other uses.

Song also expressed during his presentation the group’s expectations of the Miss Universe Gold Coin being incredibly valuable, benchmarking its potential market cap to that of popular memecoin $SHIB.

Vincent Song shares details about Miss Universe Gold Coin onstage (credit: BitPinas)

Both in the lead up to the conference and during the event itself, the Miss Universe Coin was explicitly positioned as an official component of the upcoming global pageant — a fact that the Miss Universe Organization is now publicly refuting.

In their statement, JKN announced that they will be “pursuing all legal options with regards to this infringement” and are “doing everything we can to shut this down publicly, so that our community is not victims of this fraud.”

Current Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee, who will be representing the country at the global pageant in El Salvador on November 18, was present during both the September 7 press event and PBW conference. However, her participation in both was primarily in support of her NFTs for Autism advocacy, through her organization, the Global Spectrum Initiative.

Shortly after JKN’s official post, leading NFT artist, crypto author, and entrepreneur Luis Buenaventura shared his views on the matter. “I’m gonna give them the benefit of the doubt here and assume that ‘Miss Universe’ is too high-profile a brand to be screwing around with,” he tweeted.

“Like, if it was a scam then they would’ve started selling tokens on the spot at [PBW] because they’d never have gotten away with it for more than a day or two,” he continued. “So it’s more likely some kind of terrible miscommunication between the PH and global groups. At the end of the day, I don’t think the world needs a Miss U crypto anyway … and certainly not one who tries to benchmark itself against a volatile memecoin like $SHIB.”

The organizers of PBW responded yesterday through the conference’s official channels, confirming that they are now in contact with relevant parties and assuring the community that they will be sharing updates on the matter soon.

“Our primary goal is to provide an inclusive platform for the blockchain and cryptocurrency communities to exchange ideas and foster the growth of Web3,” the official statement read. “Thank you for your continued support in making the Web3 ecosystem safe and secure for all.”

PBW saw a number of collaborations launched and formalized between blockchain players and institutional partners to further Web3 adoption in the country. The Blockchain for Government 101 forum, held during the conference, brought in over 200 government officials and employees to educate them on the use cases, opportunities, and risks of blockchain technologies. Similarly, the Philippine Block Awards, bestowed during the second day of the conference, saw three government officials recognized for furthering the usage of blockchain. This all comes as the Philippine government continues to crack down on scams and push for deeper regulation in the Web3 community.

With this emphasis on institutional partnerships as a way to ensure transparency and credibility in the space, it is yet unclear how this latest development around the “Miss Universe Gold Coin” may affect future initiatives coming out of PBW.

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