TL;DR Is KickCoin token a scam? YES.
About a month ago, a new token found its way into my Ether wallet. 888,888 "Kick" tokens appeared out of thin air. I googled a bit, and found an article from Kick explaining that they decided to airdrop tokens to about 167,000 Ether addresses, that their "special algorithm" picked up:
KickEX will transfer 888 888 KickTokens to each of 167,375 crypto users in the next month starting from 26 November 2019.
That same article talks about their plans to open an exchange called "KickEx" in the future, and recommends people should start sending users their way through a program called "KickRef", that must have the words "pyramid scheme" stenciled on it somewhere (you know, you get Kick tokens for everyone you bring, then they bring people in and get tokens, and you get tokens for these people as well... you basic pyramid, with the word "token" added).
They also spend a paragraph explaining the significance of the number 888,888. I never knew Feng Shui was so important to people in Russia (where I think they're from), but to each his own.
OK, I thought, but CoinMarketCap lists this token with some value, right? Maybe I can get that, and get the hell out of Dodge? I tried several time to transfer it to one of the exchanges mentioned, and got a "Fail with error 'SafeMath: subtraction overflow'" error repeatedly, burning some Gas. Then I checked all the transaction for the contract, and saw almost all of them ended the same way (link to Etherscan).
A while later, a post from Kick came about, explaining this was a "Frozen" drop. In the post, which starts by them bragging that they now a 1 million users (not bothering to mention how many of them chose to be users), they explain the tokens they dropped cannot be used, moved, or traded:
Please note that FrozenDrop tokens will not ‘unlock’ by themselves in any time given. To unlock the tokens, you’ll need to meet certain simple conditions that we’ll publish after KickEx exchange is launched. Kick Team deliberately does not disclose the terms yet, since many competitors have their eyes on our mechanism and the know-how terms will be published after the release of KickEX.
Oh, yes, the secretive "simple conditions"" that you need to meet so you can use their unwanted coins. What are they, we need to know!
Well, hold your breath no further. In their latest post, cheerfully titled "Frozen KickTokens are getting warmer" they finally reveal their cunning plan:
1) You get FrozenDrop (888,888 frozen KickTokens) to your ETH wallet.
2) Register in the KickEx exchange and trade there. With trade volume, you accumulate a commission. For example, with a commission of $1, you can unfreeze KickTokens for $ 0,5.
3)Tokens are unlocked now. You can sell these unfrozen tokens, cover future commissions partly or up to 100% for trading on the exchange, or spend in the Kick Ecosystem.
They also reveal some of the "magic" behind picking the 167,000 victims - sorry, "satisfied totally willing customers":
Our algorithm selected all active Ethereum (ETH) wallets. We cannot yet disclose all the data about how exactly the accrual algorithm works. However, we can point out some factors, such as the activity and the transaction on the Ethereum network during the last few months, the Ethereum balance at least 0.5 ETH
If you didn't get the scam so far, let's go over this imaginary scenario:
1. I mint 1 trillion Creepto Coins (5 minutes for an ERC-20 token - check Youtube for instructions. It takes longer to come up with a cool name and icon).
2. I look at the last million transactions on Etherscan and pick the addresses that have money.
3. I send them each 31459265 coins (my Feng Shui sifu told me Pi is like totally my number).
4. I mark the contract "Locked" and ROTFL every time someone loses gas trying to move the coins.
5. I then publish a post about the amazing benefits of Locked Tokens and how they are the future of tokens and crypto in general. (No seriously, try reading this preposterous article).
6. I publish a set of articles about how I already have 5 million unique users (who's going to count? Or ask how I got the addresses?).
7. Finally, I reveal my amazing service CreeptoEx: my online exchange where you can trade Ether, for cat gifs. Oh, and for every $1 in Ether you send me, you get $0.50 of your CreeptoTokens unlocked! Amazing deal! Tokens and cat gifs!
Now ask yourself: if I contact you out of the blue and offer to send you $50 if you send me a $100, would you take this amazing offer? What if I added the word "token" in there?
PSA: How to find out if YOU are a "KickEx Customer"
I just found Kick tokens in 2 of my wallet addresses, so I guess I'm 2 "satisfied customers" 😊.
If you want to find out whether you got the "frozen drop", follow these steps:
1. Open your wallet address on Etherscan: Click Account Details > View on Etherscan in MetaMask, or browse to https://etherscan.io/address/0x..... (paste your own address).
2. The 3rd line down on the left is the Tokens dropdown. Click it, and see if you've been afflicted with 888,8888 Kick (ignore the USD value - it's meaningless).
3. If you want to see the token in MetaMask (why?), click the hamburger menu > Add Token > Custom Token and paste the contract address (0xc12d1c73ee7dc3615ba4e37e4abfdbddfa38907e). The token will now appear on the list.
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Sadly, there's no way of getting rid of this craptoken, other than hiding it in the wallet. Etherscan will still show it under your address - with a $ value, no less, even though it's actually worth less than $0. CoinMarketCap still lists this hoax of a token.
I hope Etherscan, CoinMarketCap and the few exchanges that list this thing man up, realize that peddling hoaxes and pyramid scams does not promote our field, and Kick this travesty in the Ex.