Ethereum Nowa was in the news for a reason. The platform claimed it was embarking on a hard fork. The attraction of the supposed fork was the fact that it was linked to Ethereum, the second most capitalized altcoin.
Ordinarily, people are interested in forks because it is an opportunity to get free coins. The Ethereum Nowa fork was supposed to be the first fork for 2019 but the project was suspicious from onset.
First Sign of Scam
Firstly, the project announcement made it clear that people who wanted to benefit from the Ethereum Nowa fork should send ether to an address. Now this is curious because there is no correlation between sending ether to an address and forking of a coin.
ETN Ticker Belongs to Electroneum
Also, the team behind the project stated that the ticker for the new coin is ETN, a ticker that is already registered in exchanges by Electroneum another altcoin that plans to dominate mobile payments.
It became obvious that the promoters of the scheme were using a fork to attract investors to a scheme that was meant as a funnel for scam.
Although it is not clear the extent of the publicity the scam fork had, a look at the Ethereum payment address on the website shows there have been seven transactions totaling $800. It is possible that some investors had started sending money to the project. It may also be that the fraudsters made the deposits to create impression that investors were buying the ‘forked coin’.
The last transaction was six days ago when it was discovered that the team presented faked IDs on their website pointing to the fact that it is a scam project.
Mixing ICO and Hard Fork
Soon after the fork was announced, some analysts pointed to the inconsistencies in the project such as mixing a fork with an ICO, a scenario which is impossible.
Asking people to pay to an address during a fork is unheard of. It is clear that the essence of incorporating a fork in a scam ICO is that the scammers hoped to create enough hype to have many investors send them funds.
Too Many Red Flags
Fortunately, the coin market and the cryptocurrency ecosystem have seen enough scams in the past year that every other project is keenly scrutinized for red flags that show whether they are genuine or not.
A summary of the Ethereum Nowa projects shows that it claimed to be a next generation decentralized platform on which people can build dApps. In other words, the platform used the name and features of Ethereum to gain traction.
The concept was to create the impression that a fork was imminent on the Ethereum platform. Ethereum presently has capitalization of $15.8 billion and the scammers no doubt hoped to get a chunk of that fund.
Scammers Are Getting Smarter in Marketing
One takeaway from this Fork-ICO scam is that scammers are utilizing various marketing skills to gain attention of investors. The promoters of these projects are aware of the need to create a sales funnel that would bring in a lot of prospects hoping that a substantial number of these prospects will convert to paying ‘customers’.
Judging from the website on face value, it is easy to classify the project as a hybrid of Ethereum and IOTA. The promoters claimed that they are building a dApp hosting platform that will enable machine to machine interaction.
A Lack in Originality
These are known features of these decentralized networks so there is in reality no originality in Ethereum Nowa. This though ordinarily would not be a problem debar the fact that the project has proven to be another scam in the ecosystem.
There are many projects within the decentralized ecosystem that are slight variations of the original. Some are even direct copies that have made analysts speculate that these networks will not last more than a couple of years.
The main problems the cryptosphere have had are the scams that have continued to be the albatross that has been the clog in the wheel of progress and the reason why regulators such as SEC are unwilling to approve instruments that will grant a measure of legitimacy to cryptocurrencies.
Fake Profile Pictures
Ethereum Nova which announced an upcoming fork that would be due in a few days was found to be a scam after investigations revealed that the profiles of the team members were fakes. The promoters practically used stock photos to represent the images of the team.
The first indication that there was something fishy about the project was when the team announced it and it was seen that the team member profiles had no links to their social media profiles.
In the past, this would not have been an issue but with the upsurge in the number of scam projects, it has become imperative that projects show at least that there are real identifiable people behind them.
Examples of how much things have changed are projects like Monero and Bitcoin whose founders are mostly not known. Nevertheless, these projects did not go all out asking for donations or selling tokens or even giving out addresses for random investors to key into them.
They are technically viable projects that developers and investors saw their potentials and collaboratively worked for their successes. Today Bitcoin and Monero are projects that the founders can be proud of. It is these good projects that scams like Ethereum Nowa debase with by their unscrupulous actions.
January 12 for Fake Hard Fork
The scam fork has been proposed for January 12, 2019 obviously to gain publicity for donation to the scam project. The interest the Bitcoin Cash fork generated as speculators scrambled to get a share of the new coin is still fresh and the scammers hoped that they would leverage such publicity.
A closer look at the scam site shows that there is a phishing scam attempt as participants and fans of the fake fork have been asked to export their private keys to the official scam website’s wallet.
Thanks to investigative research within the crypto ecosystem, many scams are being discovered before they wreck more havoc on the system causing investors and speculators to withdraw their funds and interests.
photo credit: ICO Ethics