So I've seen many projects come and go and it's always incredible to see the amount of people that are fooled (including me in the past) by projects that are nothing more than a website template and a generic white paper.
The ICO pump and dump from 2017 showed that many people made huge amounts of money in exchange of worthless tokens that
- Never hit an exchange
- If they did they only lost value to never recover again.
- Never had any real value or usage.
It also showed that people don't really care about the technology but rather, the profit potential, hype and speculation around a project.
You can still find many worthless projects like these, despite the bitter past investors had in the ICO bubble and some IEOs. DeFi is a recent hype that has so much potential and risks at the same time. Most likely a lot of new projects will promise around this concept without being able to deliver or build anything significantly.
However, those that do survive and remain competitive after the first year will be good candidates to keep an eye on. You are free to participate in DeFi ICOs or invest in current ones at your own risk, there's been recent volatility around some of these projects so is always good to be careful when to invest or open a trading position as volatility is a hot potato game and is never good to hold the potato when the music ends.
We always have to do our own extensive research and figure where value is and detect scams. Sometimes is difficult because the project might seem valid, genuine and worthy. But as time passes, some seem to stagnant, underperform and eventually end. Soon their tokens become souvenirs in our wallets and we are only left with the painful regret of investing in them.
There's multiple reasons why a crypto project/startup dies. Most of the time, the lack of adoption is what really kills a project. Even if you have a working product and a great tokenized economic model (monetary policy, deflation mechanism, interest rates, utility, etc.), supply and demand rules at the end and if there isn't enough demand for a product or service or token, the startup is doomed.
The reason I made this post though is because I recently stumbled upon a project that shocked me because of how worthless it is, yet people seem to support it and I really don't understand why.
The project is called Originate Coin maybe you guys have come across it on the bounty or announcement threads over at Bitcointalk.
"A decentralized database network" is what they propose.
Their site is a classical ICO template anyone can setup relatively cheap and when you read the white paper there's absolutely NOTHING that describes the project value proposition in depth or heck even a tiny bit. It only talks about blockchain technology, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies and the ICO structure. Very general subjects, it almost feel like it could be useful educational content for cryptocurrency and blockchain beginners, but nothing really special about Originate. It doesn't describe the token's utility, the economic model, the actual purpose of creating the project. Nothing.
In spite of this, they are cynical enough to write this:
"...Originate Coin cryptocurrency intends to reach the fifth place in market capitalization over the next two years..."
There's even a fake Linkedin button for the team members that doesn't redirect you anywhere and there's no description about who these people are. There's only pictures, possibly not even of the people behind this scam.
The Twitter feed is full of hype around the price and trading activity that supposed to be real.
This is the perfect example of a worthless project but what surprised me is the amount of "support" they seem to have on social media. There's over 20k members on their Telegram, and over 13k Followers on Facebook and Twitter and also a plenty amount of participants in the bounty campaign. The token is also already listed on two exchanges and on Coinmarketcap!
This might seem like not a big deal is just another project that needs to be avoided. There's been far worse scams like BitConnect and OneCoin so Originate might not seem really relevant but it only shows how risky the space still is, specially for the newcomer naive investor.
Exchanges don't care about the authenticity and integrity of a project as long as the project pays for the listing fee. Being listed on an exchange, and also listed on Coinmarketcap gives the false sense of authenticity. Obviously it's fake considering there's barely any buy support on these exchanges and plenty of sell orders. But I'm disappointed that up to this day, cryptocurrency price trackers and ranking sites such a Coinmarketcap with a respected reputation that claim to strive for transparent metrics and provide better tools for the average investor, allow these type of projects to be listed on their site.
Scams will always be around as long as there are opportunities to exploit and take advantage of. It's always up to us to avoid these scams so is always better to play safe and only consider reputable projects to invest and deposit both your money and trust.
Feel free to comment what other ridiculous scams you have come across recently or in the past.