$4.3 Million ICO Exit-Scams, Then Comes Back Online in a Bizarre PR Stunt
Savedroid, an ICO focusing on cryptocurrency investing, possibly pulled off the best PR stunt in the history of cryptocurrencies.
On April 18, the Savedroid updated its website with a satirical meme and confirmed its disappearance on Twitter. “Over and Out’” were the last words by the founder of Savedroid, Dr. Yassin Hankir, before the apparent exit-scam.
Media outlets widely reported the $4,345,948 theft, with Dr. Hankir hell-bent on making sure people believe that the company – which ironically works towards preventing ICO scams – was officially shut down.
Site Re-emerges Online
However on April 19, the site was up online, welcoming site visitors with an “And It’s Not Gone” pop-up and a message that says “Savedroid was here, is here, and will be here. And Savedroid is all in for establishing high-quality ICO standards.”
Hankir follows the pop-up message with a video, beginning with an apology to investors before going on to explain the elaborate stunt – which even saw Savedroid Telegram admins leave the official group.
He goes on to explain the move, calling it a “very important, very serious message”:
“If we look at this [crypto] market…we see that there is so much scam happening – scam from the beginning to the very end of an ICO, exit scams all over the place, and I believe what we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Dr. Hankir talks about how the importance of ICOs as an “ innovative and effective” vehicle for startups to raise funds, yet several companies are “endangering” the sector.
Stressing on the need of proper regulation, which lessens the chances of any future scams, Dr. Hankir says:
“We need to establish high-quality ICO standards in order to have a good future for the ICO market to be a relevant financing tool for innovative, successful and trustworthy startups in the future.”
As per the company’s whitepaper, Savedroid partners with regulatory bodies and technical experts to scrutinize data of upcoming ICOs. The company aims to create an ICO checklist, that “sustains regulation,” is “practical and viable,” and can be implemented.
Questions Raised on ICOBench Ratings
Soon after the news, ICOBench has rightly dropped Savedroid rating to a measly 2.4 at the time of writing. As per reports, the company was rated at 4.1 before the apparent scam.
Yet, a question has gripped everyone with curiosity. How did Savedroid possibly hoax ICOBench – and the public – at large?
There are two possible explanations:
- ICOBench was aware of the ‘scam,’
- ICOBench was not aware, and ‘experts’ are incentivized to award companies a high rating.
If Savedroid managed to partner with ICOBench users as well as ‘experts,’ the company ought to come out with a serious note that explains the move and spreads awareness about scams. Furthermore, the ICOBench can make its screening process completely transparent, making sure no unverified companies in the sector deceive innocent investors.
However, at the time of writing, neither ICOBench or any of its ‘experts’ have commented on the Savedroid’s move.
Community Unimpressed, Move Enrages Investors
The ‘awareness’ that Hankir tried to drive was – put in simple words – despicable.
The staged exit scam was uncalled for and not justified in any manner, as the investor’s real money was at stake.
To prove how serious the staged-scam got, several people on twitter tried to track Hankir’s location down – using just the picture as reference. The endeavor was successful, as Twitter users identified the location to be Hamrawein Port, Egypt.
Pretending to steal money is a terrible joke, especially when there are millions at stake and strangers in question. Perhaps Dr. Hankir’s intentions meant no harm, but this goes to show the immature nature of the Savedroid founder.
From what BTCManager observes, mainstream media outlets got another reason to bash cryptocurrencies. In short, Dr. Hankir’s move harmed an entire industry.