The digital currency ecosystem has been beleaguered with scam coins and initial coin offerings that crypto currency scam warning is no longer news.
Scams come in various shades in the industry and have been effectively classified by some ICO advisory firms such as Satis Group.
The risk of buying a scam token in the ICO space is so high that even when a project seems legitimate, it could be declared a scam at any stage of development.
In other words, that a project has an impressive converting website, a well-articulated whitepaper, commitment to development of whitepaper and complies to roadmap does not necessarily mean that you are dealing with a reliable team.
In fact, an ICO could be declared a scam even after having the coin listed in an exchange as seen with Sidera.
As a rule in ICO scams, the publicity of the initial coin offering is directly proportional to the loss investors will incur when the project proves to be a scam.
The report that Sidera which raised ICO funds has started dumping the funds on the exchange through a proxy address is a clear indication that registering a token in an exchange does not make a project genuine.
During the ICO, the team sold 3.6 million tokens at $2 each of the 50 million supply. After the sale, the receiving ICO address transferred 3.1 tokens to another address which has since been dumping the tokens on the exchange pushing its price down to $0.001.
The Telegram channel has more than 1000 bounty hunters who are asking when they will receive their tokens for services rendered. Individuals questioning the dumping of the token are removed from the channel while the admin and other hired hands are telling investors that this is the right time to buy the tokens because it is cheap.
That this is happening and the team not concerned and accept the situation is a clear indication that it is a well-orchestrated scam meant to dump a useless token on investors.
Like all scams, the first signal that the Sidera token has been schemed to be useless is the ease with which the promoters ‘pay’ it off to people that never rendered any services to their ICO campaign.
According to a participant of the project’s bounty campaign AlRose,
“If this project is really scam, it will be a pity. To be honest, the first thoughts about this outcome came to me when some hunters were given tokens for the signature company, despite the fact that they did not carry a signature.”
Another participant of the bounty at Bitcointalk whose username is EthereumCanada said,
“I am not sure why anyone would think that this token was worth $2 each. This “project” has nothing behind it! They have a mock up of a watch and a long list of technology that will never be developed. I think the token price is right where it should be, and that was if the project was legit….which it is not! I entered the bounty and am glad the only thing wasted, was the time it took to write an article.”
The promoters have been making effort to deny that the project is a scam despite all evidence to the contrary. There is no way a genuine project would have a third party dump on its $2 valued token and not declare the situation an emergency.
Moreover, a look at the exchanges in which the coin was listed shows that no major exchange has accepted it pointing to the suspicion that the promoters want an easy channel of manipulation of the Sidera coin market.
Days after the first dumping, a new wallet received 950,000 tokens and quickly dumped 500,000 on the market. A clear indication the Sidera scam is cashing out in a classic exit strategy. https://ethplorer.io/address/0xf1718ea8be0064d20847b0ba244cbf529331f777
Meanwhile, there are users in the Telegram channel still now aware of the happenings in the project. Some are waiting for manual token distribution promised by the team while others are asking if they will get refunds considering the ICO never made its soft cap.
An effort to reach the team members listed in ICO Bench shows that it comprised people that know little or nothing about the blockchain technology yet the whitepaper promised a string of projects that obviously was drafted through third-party services.
Vicenzo Niglio who poses as CEO and founder of the project could hardly communicate in English language while one Ifedola handling the Telegram channel who clains to be a blockchain specialist could not answer rudimentary blockchain-related queries.
One lesson investors should learn from the Sidera scam is never trust a token valued higher than $1, though even lower valued tokens can be dumped, the prospect of market manipulation and losses are higher with a token selling at $2.
The problem of the ICO market is that most investors put in money if it sounds like there is profit to be made. They never research on token economics or the reputation of teams behind these projects.
There is also the aspect of impunity. The anonymity vested on project promoters and ICOs by the internet has made scammers more daring. This is why there is need for the crypto community and possibly regulators to map out ways to increase oversight on the industry.
A closer look at the Sidera project shows that its roadmap comprises mainly bogus claims. A project that can move and dump 1.9 million of its own token cannot realistically work on its roadmap.
It really is surprising that many investors keep falling for these scams no matter how obvious they seem. Pray what is the value of a project that a wearable hard wallet? There even is a roadmap meant for military security and another part of the promotion that kept interchanging blockchain security with national or military.
Hopefully more investors will learn a thing or two from this scam.