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#Scam

ICOs Keep Failing: How Not to Fall for a Scam

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There are, however, 5 good indicators showing whether or not an ICO is a scam, and if these raise alarm bells, it is probably best to find one that doesn’t.

If you have been trading in the cryptocurrency arena for the last few years, no doubt you have come across ICOs. For those of you who aren’t in the know, an ICO is initial coin offering made by new cryptocurrency projects. Typically, these offerings are made by way of crowdfunding as a means to draw investment to kickstart the currency effectively and provide traders and investors with the opportunity to pick up potentially valuable tokens at a discounted rate.

The tokens are sold on the premise of a successful launch with investors being able to cash in if the project is successful by selling their tokens in the future. So far so good, ICOs are providing a solid base for investment with the opportunity to make generous returns when the platform is live.

The problem is that ICOs are often scams. In fact, it was estimated by ICO advisory group Statis that 80% of all ICOs that went to market was in fact scams set up by fraudulent individuals looking to make a lot of money and disappear as quickly as they had emerged.

That does mean, though, that 20% of all ICOs are legitimate and profitable, but with 4 out of 5 being outright scams, how can you tell the good from the bad? And how can you make sure your investment is with an ICO that could yield lucratively in the future?

5 Ways to Identify an ICO Scam

To start, it is important to highlight that there is no fool-proof way in determining whether an ICO is a scam or not. In an ideal world, scammers would be easily identifiable, but the problems arise due to the sophistication employed by scammers to get investment. There are, however, 5 good indicators showing whether or not an ICO is a scam, and if these raise alarm bells, it is probably best to find one that doesn’t.

 

Tip #1 – Understanding the Development Team

This is critical and should be your first concern when considering whether an ICO is a scam. Development teams for these projects often have good track records that are independently verified through third-party sources. This is primarily because it is very rare that a grass-roots ICO project with no development history or credentials would be legitimate.

Familiarize yourself with the team behind the ICO, “google” their head office, check their educational and business history on LinkedIn. If a development team or individuals behind the project have already contributed productively to the crypto world then it might be a key indication that they are legitimate.

 

Tip #2 – Get to Grips with the Whitepaper

An ICO whitepaper is very much like a business plan. It should identify the key areas that the ICO is looking to address, how it intends to achieve its goals, and more importantly, it should outline any concerns that the developers have. This last point is something that scammers often overlook as they don’t wish to perpetuate any negative connotations attached to their offering. This is because they want as many people on board as possible.

A legitimate whitepaper will highlight areas that the developers are wary of as well as ways in which they intend to combat them. It will show careful planning and contingencies being put in place from the outset.

If the whitepaper seems too good to be true, it likely is!

 

Tip #3 – Examine the Token

The offering for an ICO will be made through either a token or some tangible currency system. If an ICO has been set up honestly, it will be relatively straightforward for investors to view the system and token performance. This information should be accessible so that you can discern how a token has performed over time as well as view current performance.

Marry this information up to the claims and projections in the whitepaper, is it feasible that the token can achieve results in the way that the developers are claiming it can?

If you can’t track token’s performance at all, it is a clear indicator that something is not right about the ICO and you should move on to the next one.

 

Tip #4 – Take Everything with a Pinch of Salt

Tying back in with the feasibility mentioned in the previous point, always err on the side of caution when evaluating the company’s claims. If an ICO looks very attractive, but after evaluation of its performance you have been discouraged by borderline or poor performance, it is best to steer clear rather than expect a turnaround.

Cryptocurrency, in general, is rife with exaggerated claims and hype, only legitimate platforms retain value regardless of this. So it is very important you trust your gut instincts when deciding if a particular project is for you. If something doesn’t look right or doesn’t ring true, don’t make excuses for why that might be and move on instead.

 

Tip #5 – Spread Your Risk

Even the most seasoned investors have fallen for ICO scams. This is because they often appear very real. It is worth mentioning that you should never put all of your capital into one ICO but rather look at other offerings and balance out investments to find a dynamic that not only works for you but protects you if one is a scam.

If you have been caught out by a scam, think carefully about the process you employed when selecting that ICO, establish where you went wrong or what can be done differently. If you can’t do that, it is perhaps best to steer clear of the ICO market and look to other fantastic opportunities in the crypto world.

Some ICOs have had incredible success, but the ICO market is currently littered with poor ICO options that are purely there to rob you. Always be inquisitive, ask questions and make sure you feel comfortable before investing.

#Scam

Bitconnect Scam: How to receive $2.5 Billion Refund from FBI?

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FBI has then taken on the task of investigating the crimes that have been committed by Bitconnect and announced that it is seeking information from victims.

BitConnect: A cryptocurrency that became famous only for developing a major Ponzi scheme that valued the coin (BCC)for a market cap of $2.5 billion in the peak of December 2017.

The company proposed its value, which was that the users would receive up to 10% return on their investment each month. Bitconnect also claimed to use the strategy of tiered-investment which was based on the total amount of funds that an investor will initially deposit.

On 3rd Day of January 2018, BCC reached the top of its all-time high at $463, before plunging by 65%, down to $5 by the end of January. Bitconnect attempted to repay all investors for $363 per BCC, but by the time the investors received the coins, the price had already gone well below $10, making their refunds practically worthless.

Bitconnect tried to pay back to all its investors for $363 as per BCC, but by the time the investors received the coins, the price had gone down below $10, making their refunds worthless.

After receiving a cease order which was issued by the regulators in Texas and North Carolina, Bitconnect then announced that they would be shutting down their exchange and lending operations. The assets of the company got froze and the founders are currently under investigation.

 

Seeking information from the Bitconnect victims:

After the dozens of lawsuits filed against the company, FBI has then taken on the task of investigating the crimes that have been committed and further announced that it is seeking information about victims who may have lost their money by the Ponzi scheme.

FBI has prepared a questionnaire Based on the type of questions that are being asked, it looks like that the FBI is in search of anyone who is possibly involved in promoting Bitconnect.

 

The questions that the questionnaire consists of are:

  • Where did you first hear about Bitconnect? (Friend, Youtube, Event, Other)
  • How much money did you invest in Bitconnect?
  • What was the username associated with your Bitconnect account?
  • Who referred you to Bitconnect (if applicable)?

Based on these questions the FBI is investigating and looking into the case.

 

In the end:

Ponzi schemes seem to be around for decades, they always look into finding new ways to emerge and trick unsophisticated investors into pouring money into them. At last, hopefully, those people who lost money learned the most important lesson from experience.

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#Banking

Is the Banking System a Fraud?

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There are many other loopholes to the working of banks in the economy, but for now, these should be enough to open your eyes to the banking system.

You’ve worked the entire four weeks until your bones were dry from fatigue, you spent sleepless nights working on a project or an assignment and even over worked your body to an unhealthy degree- at the end of it all, however, you have your paycheck in hand. You finally have your wage, or do you?

The bitter fact is that it’s not you but your bank that has received the wage. In our day to day lives we are dependent, more than anything on banks for the money that we earn- when it should be the other way around; that is, banks should be depending on us instead for the money that they offer to the world.

And when one pays close attention- the entire system appears to be absurd! How can a third party that had no role in the amount of work that we did and efforts that we put have a say in the amount of money we can withdraw and the number of times we can withdraw it?

Today we are here to unleash some facts about the banking system which will show to you how the whole banking system is a sham:

 

Are all banks broke?

Yes, this is no act of God, or a natural calamity or a tsunami- all banks from the beginning have been broke. After all, they have no money of their own- any assets that they appear to have were provided to them by their initial customers.

True, they earn small amounts of interest on the money that we deposit with them, but it is indeed not enough to give them amounts large enough, such as 10 lakh, which they can offer to a minimum 100 people at once. So where is the money coming from? Well, it’s all fall system that we will slowly unravel.

 

Fractional Reserve Banking

Now, the biggest fraud that banks can possibly play is that they go ahead and offer more money than they actually have and this is primarily known as Fractional Reserve Banking.

As mentioned earlier, banks have limited money supply- all the money that they have to offer is what we deposit with them so how come when a person applies for a large loan the banks are ready to give that money as though it was theirs. The sad fact is that banks are actually offering ‘your’ money to others when giving out loans- and the credit security they offer is not half as true as it would appear.

 

False Credit Creation

We will now see how the banks create false money in the economy. Supposing you deposited one thousand dollars with the bank; the next step by the bank would be to keep ten percent ($100) of it as cash reserve and use the remaining, $900 as money owned by the bank itself. So now the bank has your money, which is one thousand dollars for appearance’s sake and 900 dollars as its own money. Thus, the total money increases to 1900.

And now suppose you want your thousand dollars back- here’s what the bank will do- just like you deposited money with the bank, there are many others who deposited money with the same bank in a similar fashion, the banks will use a small percentage of the money deposited by various people and give it to you back as ‘your’ money.

This is all just a hollow scheme.

 

The Central Bank

Perhaps the most significant loophole in the banking system of the economy is The Central Bank and its activities and the biggest sham that it plays is the printing of money or deficit financing.

Whenever the money supply in the economy is falling, banks resort to deficit financing and print more money, but the actual amount of goods and services in the economy remains the same. So although now, instead of $100 you have $200, you cannot get an extra bag of rice because the total production was not increased only the paper money was.

 

Conclusion

Real rise in the economy occurs when the total production increases and not the total amount of money circulating in the market. There are many other loopholes to the working of banks in the economy, but for now, these should be enough to open your eyes to the reality of the banking world.

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#Bitcoin

France Yellow Vests Bank Run: Fractional Reserve Banking Fraud, Is Bitcoin The Real Solution?

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The idea of a bank run is where essentially everyone goes to the bank and takes their money out of the bank. Bitcoin is where the real revolution lies at.

The idea of a bank run is where essentially everyone goes to the bank and takes their money out of the bank. The fact is that banks kind of doesn’t have your money and the bank kind of do have your money. If just you go to the bank and withdraw your money, the bank’s got your money but if everybody goes to the bank and asks for their money, the bank might not have your money. That is because banks practice fractional reserve lending.

 

Yellow Vests Bank Run:

In response to the Yellow Vests are going to be doing a bank run, the banks in France have been closing up. Maybe this is because they don’t want any violence at their branches. Not only banks but ATMs are also experiencing mysterious glitches where suddenly they are not working anymore. Now if you add in that to the fact that your banks only open from Monday to Friday (9 AM to 5 PM) anyway and that if you want to go to an ATM which has a daily withdrawal limit of say $500, it’s really hard to get your money out of the banks. It’s quite easy to put it in though. This all comes back to the idea of fractional reserve lending. How a bank can take a $1,000 and turn it into $10,000 is a bit of magic when it comes down to it.

For eg: A takes $1000 to the bank and you put it in his savings account. Now because of the fractional reserve lending idea, the bank only needs to keep a fraction of that money in a reserve. So they put $100 in the vault and take the other $900 and lend it out to B. Now B takes the $900 and goes to buy a car from C. Now C takes his $900 which he got from B to the bank and puts it in his savings account. Now the bank again put $90 in the vault and again lends $810 to D. This process repeats and continues but let’s just say it stops there. So A goes to the bank and tells the bank that he needs to withdraw his $1000 from the bank but the bank says they have only $190 in the vault because they lent all his money out. That is a very basic example of how it works but essentially, you take that to a large scale and the banks don’t actually physically have everyone’s money.

 

Now its ok if a certain percent of the population goes to the banks every day to withdraw some money as the banks are already prepared that 5% or 10% of the people are going to come and take out their money on any given day. But if everyone went to take their money out of the banks, then it becomes a big trouble for the banks because they simply do not have everyone’s money. Now we add into this a few different factors and we can see some of the real problems of the banking system.

 

One, of course, is that about 10% of the total money supply is in physical bills and coins. Then we have the debt factor. It is very serious because so many people have taken loans from the banks. People don’t actually have any money sitting in the banks, they just owe the banks a lot of money. So that is why it is quite difficult for everyone to do a bank run because a lot of people don’t have any money sitting in the banks at the first place and they owe tens of thousands of dollars to the banks. Looking at 2008, banks crashed the global economy and got bailed out which is a classic situation where there is socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Some countries also have bail in clauses where the banks can take your money bailing in which is another crazy system.

 

Now, all of this fraud is because the banking system is probably a system of fraud, the business model of banks is fraud and it is enabled by the debt system and the fiat money system. The fact that the governments can just keep printing money is insanely broken and every time the government prints new money, your own money becomes worth a little bit less which is crazy again because you just cannot win. The banks and the government are always the winners and that’s a pretty bad game to be playing. The fiat debt backed backing system may be the biggest scam in history and yet we all continue to support that system.

 

The lies are so incredibly big and they are repeated so often that people start to believe them. Money lending and the idea of charging massive amounts of interest on people for buying houses, cars etc. has made people slaves to the banks. Interestingly, the Bible was quite anti-money lending. There are quite a few passages in the Bible about the dangers of money lending and how Jesus was anti-charging interest. Remember when Jesus went to the temple, he didn’t kick out the poor, he didn’t kick out the beggars or anyone else except the money lenders.

 

We have created a society where the money lenders are in charge of everything and that has not given a good result to our society. We understand by the Yellow Vests protestors out in France protesting against the system because the government has supported a system that has enslaved the citizens.

 

A quote by Henry Ford:

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.

 

It seems that the French are starting to figure this out. They are sitting at a table, trying to play a game where everyone else holds the cards except the regular citizens. That is why the French people think that doing a bank run is a good idea.

Although the Yellow Vests have a very big voice and are very prominent, they do not have 100% support of everyone inside of France. A successful bank run would require everyone or near everyone to go and take their money out of the banks but that is not actually happening.

 

Plan Bitcoin:

Bitcoin is where the real revolution lies at. Bitcoin is meant to take the power away from banks. Bitcoin encourages people to stop supporting the banks but we are still stuck to this old system. Bitcoin is definitely the money of the future because sound money is powerful. The fact that the governments print money whenever they want is a broken system. The fact that you can only access your money when the banks say so is totally broken as it’s your money and you should have access to it 24X7, be allowed to send it to whoever you want to and whenever you want to send it. That is why the idea of a bank run is incredibly powerful but for a bank run to succeed is very difficult.

 

Jimmy Song has weighed in on the idea of bitcoin as a revolution. Jimmy Song said:

Revolutions, we are seeing are aiming at changing who is in charge. However, what they should be doing is taking back the power for themselves. It starts with bitcoin. If people would realize it then violence would not be necessary because they could take power away without the violence. It would be possible to change things for the better without putting lives on the line and risking jail time. It is possible to have peaceful revolutions with bitcoin.

These were the thoughts of the writer on can the French Bank Run happen and how does bitcoin play into all of this. Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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