The cryptocurrency and Blockchain space even in its unbridled goodness and intelligence has been froth with a number of incorrigible persons trying to perpetuate scams on unsuspecting believers. These unscrupulous persons have also helped to fuel the misconceptions and negative propaganda against the crypto-community and unfortunately a good number of them have found themselves moving into the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) industry.
The ICO concept which had hitherto been hailed as an awesome fund-raising phenomenon for ground-breaking tech projects, has seen some incorrigibles venturing in and trying to take advantage of a pure concept to perpetuate frauds and poison the space. The year 2017 was relatively more rampant with such projects as compared to the current year, 2018. These despicable activities led the industry to begin a process of self-regulation and notable ICO listing platforms like ours started to engage more stringent screening processes for projects. This has helped to significantly curtail fraudulent activities in the space and even though a few have passed through our screening processes, we have not hesitated to call them out by tagging them as ‘scams’ as soon as our attention are drawn. So far, we have had only two of those slip through and gotten listed, but we have subsequently disabled these listings and called them out; these projects are Prodeum and Benebit.
Some other frauds posing as ICOs have luckily not been successful in slipping through our scrutiny. We have compiled a number and will make use of this article to highlight some of them. We will throw light on just a few of the many factors that make these projects “scam suspects” without being too technical so readers can easily understand and be aware.
Many of these projects had faulty project descriptions, suspicious and copied whitepapers, next-to-zero and bogus technology, fake team members among many other things. The highlights below however take out all technicalities and only make mention of basic pointers that show the emptiness of these projects;
The project has no substance with a very vague whitepaper. Project purpose keeps changing, one moment it is a payment system, the next it is an art project.
This project has no relatable value proposition and the mission keeps changing. The official website is even currently available for sale.
First and foremost, this project does not need to raise an ICO or funds at all in the first place. Why should one raise funds to teach people how to achieve their personal life goals? Additionally, they do not list team members even though they have an icon for team members on the site.
Aside having an obviously corny name for a project, links to the site do not lead to the intended stories and their claims are dodgy.
This ICO explicitly states that it will offer no value to contributors and that they were only experimenting. The team members listed are fake.
This project ridiculously asks people to contribute towards its ICO only to help the founder, who isn’t named, purchase a red bus he or she intends to use as a home.
It has a very weak value proposition and has all the makings of a Bitcoin doubling scheme which more often than not turns out to be scams. The website is currently under suspension and available for sale.
This project has been wholly built around one-person, the CEO, and it seems he alone is the team. Project objective keeps changing and the website currently shows something else.
The team developed a very unserious website to even be considered as a serious project in the first place and the website is currently unavailable.
This aims to make charity donors richer instead of helping to channel funds to the underprivileged who indeed need to be helped.
They claim to be running a fundraiser on behalf of American veterans, but they have no documentary proof of that. Their set-up is bogus, and everything about it is suspect. There are no team members displayed.
The team members listed do not have any known social media profiles to trace their authenticity and the project offering remains unclear.
They refused to make the people behind the project known even after we probed them on many occasions.
This does not need to raise an ICO. It is not even Blockchain or Tech related.
If not for anything at all, the name alone should make you cringe. The project description on the site clearly states that it is an empty project aiming to scam the greedy and gullible.
The project whitepaper explicitly states that they will not disclose the people behind the project. You do not want to go giving millions of USD to people who do not want to be known.
This project seems like a copy of many similar projects in the space in addition to having a corny project name. The team members keep changing with the initial team members names not matching the purported persons and positions.
Highly suspicious project and even before token sale, they are already making mention of large crypto-exchanges they claim to have sealed token listing deals with. No team members are shown.
- Weekend Millionaires Club
Ask yourself, why should this project even want to raise funds? The LinkedIn profiles of the team members were only recently created to possibly fool prospective investors.
They refused to disclose the persons behind the project and their jurisdiction. We kept asking and they kept evading the questions, causing us to put them on high-alert.
All commentary on the site indicates that the project is a joke and critical details have been deliberately omitted by them.
Very scanty project information on a website that lacks professional touch. Also, team members have not been made known.
The social media profiles of the team members are very suspicious. Whitepaper has no substance.
It clearly states that purchasing the coin means that you will not be able to cash out or exchange with other cryptocurrencies. And no matter what value the coin would be providing, it is advisable to steer clear of it as it has high tendencies to be fraudulent. Also, no team members have been disclosed.
We raised questions about the seeming emptiness of the project, but the answers provided were very suspicious. Additionally, the social media profiles for the founder they provided does not exist.
They blatantly refused to disclose the identity of team members but yet want to raise millions of dollars from the crypto community.
The team profile they made available were fake, they are practically non-existent.
They refused to provide the information demanded including disclosing the brains behind the project. Highly suspect.
All team members’ social media profiles were recently created and they seem to be fake.
The FIFA brand name is owned by world Football governing body FIFA and there is no official link between the body and this project. Team members listed for this project are fake and they keep changing. They actually mention Vitalik Buterin, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi among several other prominent Blockchain and world football personalities as team members – just laughable.
Team members’ profiles they gave are highly questionable. We stand to be corrected on this, but so far it does raise flags.
There is no indication whatsoever that shows that the Catholic church has asked that an ICO be conducted on its behalf. Team members’ profiles are highly suspect.
The project description is totally full of misnomers and team members are totally anonymous.
The project claims to be backed by the Tabarak investment Bank in the UAE and the website of the bank they provided is tabarak.ae when in fact the real website for the bank is tabarakinvestment.com, also the management team for their Tabarak bank is totally different from the team of the real Tabarak bank.
We asked the project for further information but they refused to answer but yet kept pestering to be listed. Also, they have refused to disclose their team members. They also claim to be featured on prominent news sites such as Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg and the rest, but they do not have hyperlinks to these news, only logos of the said Media houses.
It is important to note that thus far, scam projects in the ICO space fall below 10% but it has not stopped naysayers from bastardizing the entire industry even though there are many projects delivering excellently. But with projects like the aforementioned trying to siphon easy-money, you sometimes would not blame the detractors. For instance, why would a team want to raise millions of dollars from the community yet will not want to disclose their identity or jurisdiction. If they intended to raise say some tens of thousands of dollars they could even possibly be overlooked and regarded as a donation to a worthy cause.
I have heard so many ridiculous reasons for project team anonymity and the most prominent of these is that the Bitcoin team is anonymous. But was the early Bitcoin team really anonymous? Do we not know the early developers and those who exchanged emails with Satoshi Nakamoto? Even Satoshi Nakamoto isn’t entirely anonymous as we have a name to hold on to. And the Bitcoin project never conducted a fund raiser, as such it would be totally disingenuous to even want to draw such comparisms as proof-of-credibility – this is tantamount to clutching at straws.
Hopefully this piece would help towards some amount of industry self-regulation and help the community steer clear of empty projects. This way, more credible projects can get the much-needed support and not be viewed suspiciously.
This list however is not comprehensive and we will make questionable projects known from time to time.