Athough Cryptocurrencies have revolutionized the way the world looks at transactions, they have also made fraudulent transactions easier. There have been massive scams in ICO’s. An ICO is launched by a tech startup which sells inhouse cryptocurrency tokens to prospective investors. These investors in turn buy tokens in the hopes that company will launch its product and the tokens will grow in value.
Where 76 Billions dollars were invested.
There are no guarantees that an ICO will make good on its future plans and investors take a leap of faith when they part ways with their money. Therefore thousands of investors have been left out of pocket as this has led to a plethora of scams billed as ICOs. The five biggest ICO scams are the following:
One Coin has been labelled as a ‘clear Ponzi scheme’ in India and it has been the subject of a number of investigations over the past 18 months. In September 2017, it was fined Eur 2.5 million by the Italian authorities. One Coin does not operate a legitimate decentralized cryptocurrency and Cointelegraph has warned readers to stay clear of the operation. OneCoin is a massive scam and we have seen this in scandals all around the world. In 2016, Chinese authorities investigated the OneCoin operation in the country and over $30 million were seized by them.
Pincoin and iFan
These two ICOs are believed to have swindled 32,000 investors of a combined $660 million. Modern Tech, packed up its offices in Ho Chi Minh city last month, making off with investors money. The scam is believed to be the biggest in ICO history. The city’s administration has ordered police to investigate the fraud. These ICOs are multi-level marketing scams. iFan was advertised on a social media platform for celebrities to promote their content to fans. Meanwhile Pincoin was promising 40 percent monthly returns on investments made.
Centratech was popular for its supposed Visa and MasterCard debit card service which would allow users to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat. It was endorsed by the superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled. Two of the founders have been arrested on fraud charges relating to the ICO, which raised around $32 million.
Plexcoin was better known as a typical return on investment Ponzi scheme. During the Plexcoin ICO over $15 million had been raised. The founder Dominic Lacroix was jailed and all the funds were frozen by the SEC. This was the first time that the SEC intervened and charged an ICO through its Cyber Crime Unit.
Bitconnect discontinued operation in January after it had long been accused of being a Ponzi scheme. Users were promised astronomical returns on their investments. This was a lending program where the users lent BCC out to other users to make interest depending on how much BCC they’d lent on the platform. The operation shut down its lending scheme and exchange platform.