With the new Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) coming up ever so frequently it has become quite difficult to differentiate between the scammy or questionable currency startups as opposed to the legitimate ones. And the fact that cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated does not make things any easier. In a menacing turn of events, the cryptocurrency startup LoopX has suddenly vanished into thin air alongside $4.5 million of worth the investor’s money. According to a cached version of the LoopX website, which is now removed, a total of 276.21 Bitcoins (BTC) and 2446.70 Ethereum (ETH) were received from investors over five separate token sales in January 2018, which are now presumably lost.
LoopX was a blockchain based investment network with a revolutionary trading platform capable of performing 10000 trades per second. Investors were promised weekly payouts. When it had begun, the LoopX team had said it was formed of “high-performance professionals” who tested their algorithm for over half a year, with “great profits continuously every month. “We are here to help you make money in the emerging market of cryptocurrencies which is projected to grow up to 10 times the size of now until the next year”, the company had claimed.
The company pulled back its official website and deleted all other social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Youtube accounts. The company’s earlier Twitter profile now only shows one tweet, a link to a TheNextWeb article which details the exit scam. However, it is unclear whether the LoopX team posted it themselves or someone else took over the account. In an email sent last week to the clients, LoopX owners put forth an unexpected expression of, “We will have some more surprises for you throughout the week. Stay tuned!”
What’s interesting is that a vigilant investor did try to warn everyone about the scam about a month ago on Reddit, but unfortunately not everyone could get it.
The LoopX scam wasn’t the only exit scam we saw this year. Let’s look at some other major scams and issues that happened this year and created quite a panic among the investors.
BitConnect announced its shutting down earlier this year and held the reason for it to be “continuous bad press” surrounding the exchange platform, two cease and desist letters from Texas and North Carolina’s security boards and DDoS attacks on its lending platform. Many in the crypto community, including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin had long suspected BitConnect to be running a Ponzi scheme. The company had begun its innings in the cryptocurrency market with its ICO in late December 2016 and had quickly mounted the charts to become one of the best-performing currencies on CoinMarketCap. With its exit it has scammed its investors with $2.5 billion and the money has just evaporated from the market.
My Big Coin
Last month, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission documented a lawsuit against My Big Coin, an illegitimate cryptocurrency scam that robbed the clients of $6 million. As per the details, the team of this faulty startup operated a website for a cryptocurrency that didn’t actually exist by making false claims that the coins were actively traded on multiple exchanges. The owners also claimed that the currency was backed by gold and was partnering with MasterCard, which obviously turned out to be false. In addition to this, the owners were also accused of transferring client funds into personal accounts and using them for personal expenses and buying luxury goods.
Japanese cryptocurrency exchange platform, Coincheck, reported $530 million theft of its digital currency last month due to a hacking attack. 500 million NEM tokens were taken from Coincheck’s digital wallets. The dollar stolen from Coincheck has surpassed the ill-famous Mt. Gox disaster which was pegged at $350 million. Coincheck has decided to allow its customers to restart yen withdrawals from Feb 13. As of now, Coincheck has already received requests worth 30 billion yen ($280 million) from all its investors as reported to Reuters this week. The Financial Services Agency has ordered Coincheck to confirm the integrity of its system security so it can prevent a repeat incident from occurring.
Prodeum’s 12-page white paper had sketched the plans of building a database of fruits and vegetables on the Ethereum blockchain, but that was certainly not to be. Prodeum had asked its investors to help raise approximately $6.5 million in the form of an ICO. But when you look at Prodeum’s ICO address, you can see that it barely managed to raise much worth of Ethereum through 46 transactions. According to reports, when Prodeum pulled off the exit scam it shut down its website leaving only the word ‘penis’ to greet its investors. Fortunately, since the ICO did not raise much money, people did not lose large fortunes, unlike the rest of the scams so far in this year.
BitGrail, the Italian exchange platform whose main purpose was to enable trading of nano has gone offline after losing 17 million XRB, whose valuation comes approximately between $170 and $195 million. It is believed by many in the cryptocurrency circuit that the owners exit-scammed after taking almost 13% of the total circulating supply to themselves. Needless to say, after the announcement from BitGrail which claimed the reason for the exit to be KYC-related complications, the non-EU users were forced to shut their accounts and there was a dip in the currency price.
Recently, crypto-investment platform Davor also announced its end to its investors after it got served a cease-and-desist order from the Texas State Securities Board. The DAV price dropped from $180 to $0.5 in 20 days and the lending program was negatively impacted as cited by the Davor team in their announcement to end its lending program.
While the above listed are 2018 scams, there were similar thefts such as the theft of verge 126M coins in 2017 as well as several phishing attempts by scammers. So once again, stay vigilant and do your due diligence before you invest.