ICOs have been marred by scams. This has led to repeated warnings by regulators of financial services on the need for caution in investing in ICOs. A global securities watchdog, the International Organization of Securities Commission seem to have found relevance because of ICO, warning investors of the risks in cryptocurrency investments, particularly through crypto crowdfundings. Initial Coin Offering risks are highlighted because of the volatility of digital currencies, as well as the tendency of scammers hiding behind the anonymity of the blockchain to perpetrate scams.
One project, Starscape which has raised more than 2000ETH has just disappeared, deleting their website, Medium account and social media channel in a clear pattern reminiscent of ICO scams. A search of the company’s website hosted by Namecheap showed that the recently registered domain no longer points to a site.
The Starscape ICO promised a 50 percent return on their crypto fund arbitrage. The website said that the company planned to take advantage of the differences in prices of cryptocurrencies in several exchanges. A plan, which is possible in theory though no one can say categorically that they had tried it before.
The way the company was packaged may have been responsible for convincing investors. The whitepaper came with the warning that there are risks involved. Even at that, scams usually have some tell-tale signs that are overlooked. A visit to the ICO’s ANN thread at BitcoinTalk shows that the ANN thread posted by a user with name Starscape has been deleted. The comments on the thread show that some users didn’t see the need for an arbitrage that depends on price differentials in exchanges.
The second response by Johntwo, a senior member said, ” Why not just use your own money? Arbitrage is rarely the sort of thing that requires outside capital. Anything with zero risk and high return is something that an entrepreneur will sink his own money into, not others’. People only ask for others’ money when there is some risk.”
Another user, Javi Anibarro was of the opinion that Starscape plan of arbitrage using exchange was a claim they cannot possibly achieve. Another, Queen of crypto said that though the concept was interesting, that the details were vague. Some analysis which any discerning investor could have made use of to save themselves from loss. However, it is a known fact that there are a lot of investors that do not carry out serious background checks before investing in ICOs, the main reason scams thrive.
From the findings, it is obvious that there was no need for such an ICO whose aim would be moving coins from exchange to exchange considering the volatility of cryptocurrencies which can rapidly move up or down unpredictably. Another would be the ability to offset transaction fees at the exchanges. That would mean ensuring that every price difference is enough to cover these fees. And 50 percent profit? Most improbable said experts at coin price movement.
With the activity of Starscape, the old rule for judging scams still subsists. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is a scam.