Top 5 scams in the cryptocurrency world

There has been an increasing level of scams happening in the cryptocurrency world today and many scams have made people suspect this untrustworthy system. Educating ourselves and learning about these scams gives insight into avoiding cryptocurrency scams in the future.

Bitconnect

Bitconnect is one of the biggest cryptocurrency scams that has inspired the cryptocurrency investment scams in use today. Bitconnect launched its initial coin offering in December 2016.

Using a Ponzi scheme model, Bitconnect promised investors a 40% return on their investment per month on any Bitcoin deposited in the scheme. Due to this irresistible offer, many new and old investors joined in to participate in Bitconnect investment, giving the scam project market dominance in the early months of 2017.

This sudden surge in participation drove the original Bitconnect token from $0.14 to trade over $400 in just a few weeks.

The company continued to gain popularity despite warnings from the media and prominent names in the crypto industry. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin was questioned on social media during the heyday of Bitconnect’s era, and replied, “Yes, if 1% a day is what they’re giving, that’s Ponzi.”

The aggressive marketing used by their team of marketers turned more users into this scam until the platform crashed with millions of dollars in investor money.

The downfall came when their insane growth caught the attention of the media and led to numerous lawsuits. This sparked a lot of panic within their community on Reddit and other social media platforms.

They terminated operations and made investors money by causing server downtime on their website and shutting down their services.

The Bitconnect scam happened when the knowledge of cryptocurrency was not widespread and therefore they attributed their profit to the blockchain, and many investors signed up for it, getting Bitconnect as one of the most prominent cryptocurrency scams ever.

Plexcoin

Plexcoin was founded in mid 2017. The company introduced a new cryptocurrency and other features. Plexwallet, Plexcard, and Plexbank. Prospective investors are promised a real fairytale return. 1300% in 29 days. Between July and September 2017, a Plexcoin ICO was held, raising $15,000,000 from thousands of investors.

In December 2018, the US Security and Exchange Commission froze Plexcoin's assets and brought charges against both founders, Dominique Lacroix and his partner Sabrina Paradis Royer. Destitute in Canada, Lacroix had previously been found guilty of a financial crime after defrauding investors in some loan business.

They claimed that their token, Plexcoin, was backed by physical assets such as real estate and diamonds.

After embezzling more than $200,000 in investor money, it wasn't long before the Securities and Exchange Commission came after them.

They were later charged with multiple fraud charges. After a thorough investigation, they admitted that they live by the money of the investors significantly. The court then required them to pay half of the funds from Plexcoin's ICO and $1 million in civil punitive fines.

OneCoin

Although the media tried to persuade people to stay away from this company. One of the coins managed to raise $30 million from 3 million investors who were brainwashed during a series of international seminars. The controversy began in early 2017. The study revealed that hardly a single coin uses blockchain to raise funds. But the allegations were legally rejected at the time.

However, it was not enough to reassure the community. The mastermind behind the scam, Ruja Ignatova, disappeared in 2017 after a massive wave of investigation and arrests by US prosecutors. Roja was disappointed when an American arrest warrant was presented for her arrest, and her brother took over.

OneCoin, which began operating in late 2014 touted as a decentralized cryptocurrency, involved educating the masses about the cryptocurrency and how to trade it. They have included a lot of packages on their website with a token reward that can be used to mine OneCoins.

They set up their cryptocurrency exchange and, after a series of back and forth, shut down in January 2017, making flimsy excuses.

Centra

Centra Tech started out as a regular venture offering a crypto debit card solution. Centra has backed a massive marketing campaign with celebrities like DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather to spread the word across social media. Between July 2017 and October 2017, Centra raised $32,000,000 from thousands of investors via ICO. This success drew a lot of attention to the Miami-based company.

Robert Farkas, one of the founders of Centra Tech and other partners, masqueraded the public as an executive team. They claimed they were able to obtain licenses to send money in more than 38 states. Scammers have also forged partnerships with big corporate names such as Mastercard and Visa et cetera.

The Security Exchange and Exchange Commission arrested those involved in 2018, including Farkas. In 2020, the United States Marshal Service sold $33.4 million of cryptocurrency confiscated from CentraTech along with a Rolex wristwatch, all proceeds from the scam.

Bincoin/iFAN

Pincoin is one of the biggest and most effective scams in recent years. Pincoin was launched in the market in January of this year.

Pincoin was another huge investment scam. Pincoin was a Vietnamese cryptocurrency that received $870 million in funding from 32,000 users.

Instead of getting paid in cash, investors were given a new cryptocurrency called iFan before the Pincoin crew disappeared along with the investors' money.

Other notable cryptocurrency scams include ACChain, Savedriod, Defi100, and many more. Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise as cryptocurrency adoption increases, and educating yourself on how to protect yourself from them will go a long way in protecting you from scams in the future.

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