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Divorce by $ 660 million and Ambassador Seagal: how scammers make money on ICO

In May, three Lamborghini lined up at the entrance to the New York Hilton hotel. Here, one of the most important events of the cryptomir was the conference Consensus 2018. The venue, the price of the entrance ticket ($ 3000!) And supercars of the participants of the event had to show in every possible way: ICO and crypto-currencies are very profitable and promising. A beautiful wrapper, as always, was spoiled by journalists: they found out that the cars were rented by the organizers of the conference. Ironically, it is Lamborghini that beautifies the site of the largest divorce in the still-young history of ICO.


  • 81% of ICO projects – scum
  • Meaning is not important
  • Learned bad
  • “Segal – his man, nonsense will not advise”

81% of ICO projects – scum

Public placement of coins is called a convenient way of investing. The idea is in a simplified form: a startup produces tokens, which people buy for another crypto currency. As the value of the project increases, the value of its tokens also increases. It looks like something like a normal IPO, only without audits, thorough checks of the company’s legal purity and other bureaucracy – this leave the bore from Wall Street, and here the revolution, decentralization and plans abruptly change the world (or at least its life).


The study of the consulting company from New York Satis Group for the past year, anyone will beat the desire to invest in ICO: 81% – scam (fraud), 6% failed, 5% are already closed. Only about 8% raised funds, did not throw depositors and still afloat. After such statistics, people are more likely to put their savings on red. The July report for the first six months of the year also does not console : the situation has not changed much. And in the spring an incredible record was set.

The stories of the sudden disappearances of the developers of the ICO project with a couple of million have already become boring: in any new sphere, especially when there are no uniform regulatory standards, people will appear unfair to the hand. But seven Vietnamese from the company Modern Tech turned the matter of a completely different level. They twice divorced tens of thousands of people, and then dissolved with $ 660 million. Such a kush was not even dreamed of by the largest robbers of banks , trains and museums .

Meaning is not important

First Modern Tech launched a fundraising project for Pincoin . The developers did not bother with the idea of ​​the project and cunning schemes for the divorce of depositors. Whitepaper – a detailed description of the startup – on the site is no longer read: access to the document can be obtained only on request, but the letters do not come.

From the description on the site it is not clear absolutely nothing. Pincoin is presented as a platform with several services (payment system, auction, gaming portal and others) that will help people live better, and business and the economy – to work more efficiently. They would promise to mend the ozone hole right away, which is really there. The information is extremely abstract and does not clarify the idea of ​​Pincoin in any way. But who cares such trifles, when next to the boring text – yellow Lamborghini. Like, you invest – and will be such not only from Maisto in scale 1:24.


Pincoin did not skimp on catchy phrases, behind which emptiness. “The more you save, the more you get!” – even the late Mavrodi would have come up with something more original. And the creators of the project did not hide at all. They held major conferences, promised investors a suspiciously large profit: 48% per month, 8% for each listed participant – even an obvious sign of the pyramid did not stop thousands of people. At first the company actually paid out the funds, and the users decided that everything was fine.

Another start-up of Modern Tech has become a social network for celebrities iFan . According to the idea, the fans could communicate with idols, expand the circle of fans and so on. Why do we need a separate social network for this, also with the blockbuster, when tasks are perfectly handled by Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, is unclear.

In total, iFan and Pincoin found 32,000 investors who invested $ 660 million. If you divide, you get about $ 20,600 from one participant. Seven people from Modern Tech in early April just disappeared along with this money. Information on their detention could not be found, and hiding, given the size of the stolen, fraudsters can be very long. If the attackers were in the States, they, in fact, nothing is threatened: between the US and Vietnam there is no agreement on the extradition of suspects.


The Vietnamese authorities reacted harshly to the incident. The Securities Commission has banned several companies from conducting ICO and other activities related to crypto-currencies. The Prime Minister called for the development of norms for the regulation of the ICO. Commercial banks can not conduct transactions that involve the acquisition or sale of crypto currency. Thus, the authorities hope to stop money laundering, financing of terrorist organizations and tax evasion.

Other ICO-divorces are infinitely far from the scale of Modern Tech: say, $ 15 million from PlexCoin – crumbs compared to Vietnamese businessmen.

Learned bad

The Internet is full of instructions for checking the start-up, which ICO is going to conduct. Most of the tips are reduced to the elementary: you just need to study the project and evaluate its real capabilities.

Another thing – “harmful advice”, compiled by the user moonjelly in the social network Steemit. Two years ago he wrote a comic plan for creating an “ICO-Scam”, and since then nothing has changed much. Having looked at the sites of most dummy projects, one can only make sure of the similarity of schemes and the use of the same techniques.

For example, moonjelly recommends choosing a light and catchy name (preferably without the word coin, which “gives 2013 year”), on the “Team” tab, sign photos with common names and surnames – suspicious investors get angry with the necessary profiles. Further we buy the untwisted accounts on popular forums криптосообщества for advertising, we think out the abstract description of a product with the general phrases and we pack all it in the form of a site. Done! Look for a specialist in the manufacture of a fake passport and plastic surgeon, while people transfer their savings to you.

“Segal – his man, nonsense will not advise”

Also last year, another hook, popular with the townsfolk, became popular. Scammers are attracted to advertising their celebrity benches. In the minds of people, this increases the degree of confidence: after all, the star will not risk a reputation, and it takes a lot of money to invite a celebrity, which means that the founders have money. But investors were mistaken.

Stephen Sigal was nothing less than the ambassador of Bitcoiin2Gen crypto currency. The project caused many questions, it was immediately considered a scam: the creators do not know anything, the goals are blurred. Somehow the team raised $ 75 million, and then announced the withdrawal. Together with them, Seagal himself left the start-up.

From the official Twitter-account of the actor, references to Bitcoiin2Gen disappeared. The developers said that the project moved to a new stage and became the “first self-sufficient crypto currency”, free from anyone’s control – roughly like bitcoin. Traders did not appreciate the currency: B2G now costs about six cents, and in June the price reached $ 180.


Crypto-currencies even interested Paris Hilton. In September last year, she reported on the support of Lydian, which created something called WhisperNetwork. The project was to become a kind of “Internet 2.0” (but not as here ): there are a lot of words about blockade, decentralization and security in the description , but what it looks like is a mystery that investors do not need to think about. Then Hilton changed her mind: there is no her name on the site among the Lydian members, the messages on Twitter have been removed. The project itself is in an incomprehensible state.

In addition, in the advertising of the frank scam boxer Floyd Mayweather and the singer DJ Khaled took part. They promoted the service Centratech, which was going to develop products with support for Visa and MasterCard. The US Securities Commission became interested in the company and found out that there are no agreements with these payment systems. Then everything is as usual: the startup is turned off, the celebrities remove Centratech’s references in their social networks, and the founders of the project are accused of misappropriating $ 32 million.


Until the crypto-currencies and ICO are settled internationally, the stories described above are more likely to meet again and again. Now there is a complete disarray : in some countries – a ban, in other jurisdictions ICO “not prohibited”, third, there are strict restrictions.

Placement of coins is only becoming more popular: in just three months of 2018, companies have raised more funds through the ICO than in the whole of the previous year. The next study Satis Group is unlikely to show a fundamentally different picture of the market.

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