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According to Kaspersky Lab’s experts, during the year 2017 the ICOs have attracted $3.5 billion with $300 million being stolen by hackers. The number of ICO related fraud victims exceeded 60,000 people. Hackers interest is mainly fueled by substantial funds the ICO participants invest in ICOs: the average amount is approximately $5,000.
In most cases the money were stolen via hacker attacks, phishing webpages and spam letters with offers to invest in fake ICOs. Sometimes founders of ICOstartups simply disappear with money.
One way or another, it is critical to understand that fraud will haunt the ICO market due to the nature of this crowdfunding mechanism and its incredible popularity. Yet, with the Descrow platform the chances to keep invested in the ICO funds grow exponentially. Each of mentioned above ways of stealing money does not deprive the investors of all their money, because funds are stored in a frozen state in the investor personal wallet until the next payment tranche time comes.
A rise in the number of cryptocurrency projects and hence the ICOs has opened up a lot of opportunities for different kinds of people to make a quick buck. While most of these opportunities are clean and legitimate, there are some which aren’t, and can be classified as “borderline extortion.”
For any crowdsale or an ICO be successful, the promoters of the project have to work hard and even spend a small fortune on marketing and promotional campaigns, so that they can build trust among the community members, who will, in turn, contribute towards the project. If there are any doubts about the legitimacy of a project, community participation in the crowdsale could be severely impacted, leading to a failure of the ICO and in turn the project itself.
Given the scenario, various reports have emerged where crypto-project promoters and developers were approached by people claiming to help in promoting the project and crowdsale over various platforms for a hefty fee. While one can’t really comment on their efficiency, turning them down could turn detrimental to the project. According to few people in the industry, these “so-called” influencers have threatened to malign the project when their services are turned down. It is claimed in few cases that some of them have attempted to extort money from the project creators, and when their demands aren’t met, the projects were targeted with negative comments and reports on BitcoinTalk, other forums, and social media platforms.
It is indeed a cause of concern that such actors could easily destroy thousands of dollars’ worth of investment made into projects and their crowdsale with ease and it is up to the cryptocurrency community to decide how they would like to tackle such an issue. It is always advisable for those interested in investing in ICOs to conduct a thorough due diligence of any project. At the same time, they would have to keep their eyes open to spot patterns which could indicate a targeted slander campaign against the very projects they are interested in investing in. After factoring in all the inputs from various sources, it is up to the investor to decide on whether to go ahead and purchase the tokens or not.
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