In particular, newcomers and inexperienced investors trust ICO-rating platforms, if you are looking for information for their investment decision. Among industry experts, many rating platforms enjoy reputation, however, long been a doubt. Again and again the suspicion in the room that the expert Ratings are there by no means independent, but of the ICOs can be purchased. But is it really so easy to buy ICO-Ratings and lead to investors duped? We have gone on traces of the past – with disastrous results.
Disclaimer: The following Text is from the ICO-rating Agency Alethena. BTC-ECHO has verified the information to the best of our Knowledge, and the Text is curated, but can give no guarantee for the correctness of the statements made.
We believe that crypto-currencies can make our economy and society. However, we also believe that the current excesses on the ICO market are harmful for the individual Investor as well as for the entire Ecosystem. Therefore, we have established Alethena. Alethena is a completely objective and independent of ICO-rating Agency that provides investors with trustworthy information. Currently, we carry out our ICO. In this context, we have looked like any other ICO – more precisely, like ICO-Marketing currently works. Again and again we are on a lack of transparency, shady dealings and fraud encountered. This has encouraged us that it needs a transparent and independent Ratings, but also in the fact that we want to reveal how dysfunctional and fraudulent, the ICO-advertising market currently is actually working. Therefore, we have to go out on the trail.
“ICO ratings from top investors and experts” – so ICObench, one of the most famous ICO-rating platforms advertise, on your Website to ensure the trust of investors looking for information. A far-off claim. But how to be trustworthy and independent of the credit Ratings assigned on such platforms are, actually? A closer look at the Website of ICObench and similar Rating-providers shows that the visibility of the ICO’s Ratings there, not independently, but from the wallet of the respective ICOs depends. ICObench offers ICOs about so-called Premium Listing Services: Against some Bitcoin (depending on how long the Service is posted), can. ICOs a Top placement in the ICO Overview buy in the the Newsletter featured, and are also placed on the profile pages of your competitors At the same time, these competitors will be excluded from placement on the profile page of the paying ICOs.
The visibility of ICOs depends thus not on the quality of the experts ‘ Ratings, but only about how much money he was willing to pay for a Premium placement. These purchased Top-placements, however. For the inexperienced user who is looking for valid information for his investment decision, the result is a distorted picture of reality. Not a few users are going to hold a highlighted ICO, erroneously, a recommendation of the rating platform, and on this base an investment decision. Here, it is clear that the majority of Rating platforms are nothing more than Marketing Tools under the guise of supposedly reputable expert Ratings, visibility, offer the best time to sell. This alone is conduct a minimum of shady business, which fuels the lack of transparency in ICO market and investors behind the light – but it is much worse.
This Experiment shows that it’s So easy to expert Ratings to buy
Deals with the criticism of the current ICO of the Ecosystem, so always fall back on two terms: the Wild West and gold rush. And in fact, these descriptions are accurate, if you look at the largely unregulated, in part law, in the ICOs order in the favor of their investors, are competing, and on the other hand, the enormous multi-million-hum look that has flowed in the last few months, in countless ICOs. This lack of transparency and regulation, as well as the enormous sums that are in the game, ignite it, in the meantime, excesses, are crossing not only the boundaries of good taste, but, de facto, investor fraud, as the following Experiment shows.
In the crypto-Community, it has long been an open secret that the so-called experts-are Ratings often been acquired by purchase and, accordingly, by no means independent. To check whether it is actually so easy to buy a supposed expert Ratings, we have registered a ICO on ICObench. Shortly after registering on ICObench a certain Vagiz wrote to us via Facebook and offered us, to obtain, against payment, positive credit Ratings.
An expert-Rating should cost 500 US dollars. After a short negotiation we agreed finally to 800 US dollars for two Ratings. In an interview with Vagiz we could also determine how many stars the experts should be our ICO review.
After Vagiz told us that the two Ratings are published on ICObench, we paid the agreed $ 800 in Ether. After processing the payment Vagiz tried to sell us more expert-Ratings.
Finally, he offered us six more Ratings for the price of 300 US dollars.
We bought this again a Rating of 0.56 ETH. Our ICO has now received a total of three very positive expert reviews, which gave the users who were looking at ICObench according to trustworthy information, all of them a completely false picture – a cost of 1,000 US dollars. A no brainer compared with the sums of money that are currently circulating in the crypto world.
It is even worse
Vagiz was not the only one who tried to, via Telegram, to sell us, expert Ratings. Shortly after our registration at ICObench a certain John Smith who made us our mediocre Rating in ICObench and his help offered to wrote to us.
The help of John Smith should cost 1,5 Ether per expert Rating and finally settled on 1 Ether down to act.
In the Telegram Chat with John Smith, we wanted to check whether we can take more influence on the fake Ratings, by specifying the Rating of the Text, the experts, using.
John Smith replied in the affirmative and we sent him a extremely positive Rating Text that we wanted to read about us. That the initial letters of the four paragraphs were the word S-C-On, was John Smith.
Shortly thereafter, a certain Stephanos Constantinou has published a Rating with exactly the Text that we had set.
It is frightening how easy it is to buy ICO-Ratings of perceived experts. Whether and to what extent, Vagiz or John Smith have a connection to ICObench – the platform on which the Ratings are appeared, we could not prove. In this respect, ICObench from a legal perspective, to prove no fraud. What this experiment appears, however, in the light of very clear, is that ICObench and other Rating platforms and take the dubious machinations on their platforms, at least, condone, or tolerate. For inexperienced investors, this intransparent and fraudulent conduct of the trust, this can have serious consequences. In the worst case, the total loss of their deposits threatens them, if you fall down on fake Ratings for a Scam-ICO to the victim. Clearly, anyone Who relies on ICO rating platforms such as ICObench left.
This mixture of lack of transparency and fraud, however, is not just for rating platforms a common practice, but also in many other Places in the ICO market. So about the Bounty Campaigns, the uses of almost every ICO are mutated to excessive Marketing machines, social media flooding with mass unmarked advertising and so inexperienced investors, rogue Community interest in a ICO-project lead the de facto non-existent. Also, there are, for example, under the crypto-specialist media provider, the sponsored content, you can from ICOs pay, as an editorially-independent contributions to sell, and so your readers are deceived. This list of shady dealings can go on and on – unfortunately. Every single one of them is detrimental to the crypto-Ecosystem in the long run, because it undermines trust in the entire industry. In order to be successful in the long term, we need, as a crypto Community, however, the confidence of wide sections of the society. As a first step, this is necessary to build trust, is to create transparency for investors.