Top 3 Obvious ICO Scams

With the increasing number of ICOs happening these days, it was only a matter of time before rogue players decided to take advantage of hungry investors with fraudulent schemes. In this article, we will go over three obvious ICO scams that were able to defraud investors of their hard-earned cryptocurrency.

3. Opair

The Opair ICO was one of the earliest noted scams in ICO history, happening back in 2016. It raised more than US$1M with the promise of decentralized debit cards.

It should have been pretty obvious from the start that a no-name group of individuals could not overhaul the banking system and provide decentralized debit cards that would work anywhere right off the bat, but with more and more exciting new Blockchain technologies hitting the markets, people were understandably hopeful.

Things started to unravel when users pointed out that the Opair team seemed to have fake LinkedIn profiles, and despite having provided tons of personal information and pictures, refused to attend events or go on video calls for “privacy reasons.”

Not long after the Opair token was listed on exchanges, lots of coins were rapidly dumped, the main website was taken offline, and the team went silent.

Sleuths on later determined that the con man behind Opair later launched at least one other scam ICO known as EBITZ (a Zcash clone) as the scammer used some of the same server DNS records for the new website.

2. BitCad

There is still a bit of debate as to whether BitCad was a downright scam or if it was just a failed attempt at something larger. Nonetheless, a lot of people lost a lot of money regardless.

BitCad raised US$5M promising to be, well, everything. The BitCad ICO project aimed at replacing nearly every component of modern business, government, trading and transaction facilitation and gave very few insights into how it was going to make that happen.

Despite having boasted a pretty large team initially, once the ICO took place the project saw team members depart quite rapidly, and announcements from the group ground to a halt.

The team was supposed to deliver the first component of their platform back in May of this year, including a smart contract constructor and biometric verification. By October, they were also supposed to launch a dispute resolution department, a multistakeholder token model and a decentralized trade engine. None of these have been launched yet.

Some people are still holding their breath hoping for signs of life for the BitCad platform, but this is another ICO whose team was either selling snake oil or took on a project that was way over their heads.

1. Authorship

Authorship was an ERC20 token that raised US$1M with the promise of creating a system for writers, translators and journalists to earn and exchange ATS tokens for their work.

Participants should have been skeptical when the token’s creators mentioned that their desire to build out this token stemmed from their experience running a supposed bookstore. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a terrible e-commerce website that only sells pencils and blank notebooks isn’t much of a “bookstore.”

What’s more, the team also listed their address as “11015 York Road Cockeysville Maryland” which is the home of an entirely unrelated “Precision Auto Mechanics” business which seems to have no association with the coin creators.

What really did in Authorship, though, was the failure to distribute tokens from the bounty and referral programs. It wasn’t until then that users realized they had been scammed and started digging into the addresses above.

Had Authorship distributed the tokens, we arguably may have categorized this one as just a failed attempt at an ICO rather than a downright scam.

  • mapartha

    What about iDice?

  • Jake Woods

    I could name at least a few more ICOs that were bigger scams than these.

  • Yonny Mestampo

    You forgot Bitconnect.

    • dr00

      that’s spicy

  • Eric Fabi Francisco

    how about Xinfin? not included, or Xinfin landed on number 4?

    • jwymanm

      what’s your beef with xinfin?

  • Mac Aloysius

    How about Bitair? what do you think of it.

  • Curious how you call us a scam and link to a website we are unrelated but forget to mention we ALREADY built a successful company (DotWriter) and run another successful authors marketing company for several years (Serious Reading).

    We aren’t born yesterday and are in the publishing industry for years. Mention this if you want to be transparent.

    If some people cheated during the bounty campaign, and everyone knows this is an on-going story with ALL bounty campaigns for all ICO as everyone tries to cheat and we refused to pay cheaters, this doesn’t make us a scam.

    With or without some people support we will build the platform we raised funds for.


    • Nikko Acaya

      I’ll go for ATS as they already have a good track record.

  • BREM

    What interesting information. Thanks!

  • Harold Squid

    The mother of all ICO scams: IOTA. Current market cap: $1,224,005,074.00

    • Let’s see the proof.

      • Ahsanul Khan

        it not a scam..they just doubled the coin supply for everyone thus increasing the price thus giving more visible to everyone. It great tech but not by kind i love the blockchain

  • Joey

    Flik another huge scam!