With technological innovations came the birth of many digital assets such as cryptocurrencies. What begun with Bitcoin became a trend, and has produced innumerable cryptocurrencies since then. For the developers of these new coins to raise funds, they had to do Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and because thousands of ICOs have entered the market, and still are, it has also attracted thousands of scammers as they are naturally attracted to the idea of creating fake, and Ponzi-esque cryptocurrency projects built around hype.
One of the biggest ICO scams in history is OneCoin made by Ruja Ignatova, who called herself the Cryptoqueen. She had been making idealistic promises and claimed that OneCoin would kill Bitcoin. She was very charismatic with a good educational background so, people got easily convinced, and she was able to collect billions of dollars from investors who were all too enthusiastic to get involved in this new opportunity. Her ICO ran between Q4 2014 and Q3 2016 and was able to raise $3.767 billion.
Eventually, it turned out that it was a Ponzi scheme, and Ignatova disappeared in October 2017. OneCoin never had a blockchain and never existed as a cryptocurrency. With ICO scams as deceiving as this one, it’s hard to spot that it’s a scam so, for those who want to invest in an ICO, here are some ways how to spot if it’s an ICO scam, and why Virie's ICO is not one of them.
The website is suspicious
A website serves as the brochure of any company running an ICO, but scammers usually don’t invest in it. Some don’t even have a website at all. If you see a website that looks like an ordinary template or even plagiarized, with almost no information that tells you that it’s a legit project, that’s a red flag. Look for a website like the one Virie Project has, which contains everything you need to know about the project.
Weak or missing whitepaper
First of all, all legit ICOs should have a whitepaper. If a project doesn’t have it, be wise enough to know that it’s a scam. If it does have a whitepaper, but it’s weak, incomplete, lacks details, too short, or upfront unrealistic, it’s most likely that the project is a fake. More than the grammar composition, a whitepaper should contain authentic information needed to make a sound investment decision. Check Virie’s 15-page Whitepaper to see how a legit ICO whitepaper should look like.
It doesn’t have a face
It’s important to be able to identify that the project has a face. While there can be projects whose developers remain anonymous as in the case of Bitcoin, with scammers crawling around now, it will be safer to find at least someone who represents the company as in the case of the Virie Project. The creators of this project consist of 3 MIT alumni, a Chinese entrepreneur, a Japanese engineer, an independent investor, a lawyer, a financier, who are all private people, prefer to remain private. But they do have a spokesperson, Julien Diemer, who serves as the face of the project. Check him on Virie’s YouTube channel to learn more.
No Blockchain Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
If an ICO does not have at least any existing blockchain product, then it could possibly be just like OneCoin, a scam. Many investors have lost a lot of money for investing in ICOs without a blockchain MVP because they were just selling ideas, not a finished product. The Virie Project’s creators have used their own money first in creating a robust product, the Virie Market, that is now up and running, even before they do the ICO. Download it here and see for yourself how it works.
These are just basic ways to spot if an ICO is a scam. At the end of the day, it’s still your good judgment that will have to play an important role to ensure that you will not be wasting your hard-earned money on a fake project. The Virie Project is not reinventing the wheel with its fully completed product, the Virie Market. It’s simply a means to safely and easily make transactions in any currency. Watch out for its ICO very soon.