The street term ‘scam’ has been flogged to death. No thanks to the crypto police and click baiters all over the internet, what used to be a term reserved exclusively for fraudulent schemes has now been bastardized to meaninglessness. Everything from real financial crimes to failed crypto projects, incredulously now belongs under the scam umbrella.
So you founded a project but life happened and your project tanked despite your best efforts and millions of investor funds gone down the drain, are you a scammer? Common sense says you are not but what does it matter; the unforgiving crypto world might still tag and blacklist you from the industry.
No one wants the scam tag, and this has led many founders down the desperate route that ultimately brings disrepute just to make it in the cutthroat crypto world. These founders may have good intentions but good intentions are damned. Even if they are not scammers their actions are still equally bad and repulsive. They are still unethical.
Here Are 3 Decidedly Unethical Behaviours Of Crypto Startup Founders.
1. Falsified ‘amount raised’
Of course, no one wants to be the first to invest in an obscure token and founders know this too. So to kickstart their token sales and generate hype, many founders have been guilty of falsifying their records. Don’t be deceived. If a project launches an STO/IEO/ICO and in just 2 weeks announces all over social media they’ve hit softcap, it may be nothing more than ‘audio money’ -manufactured ballyhoo to lure investors into throwing real money at the project. Google ‘Cubaaz Scam’ and see what you find. A project founded by Real Transac’s Mickael Mosse that nearly no one invested in claims to have raised over $20 million yet surprisingly vanishes into thin air leaving unpaid workers and gnashing of teeth.
2. Plagiarized Whitepapers:
This needs no explanation. More and more cryptocurrency startups continue to flood the market with plagiarized whitepapers. Compare CVB and Bethereum whitepaper below. Read the full review here.
What could excuse this, right? And should we just call this out as another case of scam already? Not so fast crypto police. The truth is that many founders hire freelancers to craft their whitepapers. No crime here, we don’t all have the gift of writing. But these writers end up cutting corners by plagiarizing the whitepapers of similar projects and short-changing unsuspecting founders. The founder, in this case, might not be a scammer but make no mistake about it, (s)he is not absolved from blame neither does it make the situation any less unethical. And why should anyone trust a founder who cannot do due diligence on something as basic as a whitepaper? We should be angry but let’s also not forget that incompetence is not the same as a scam.
3. Fake Testimonial
Wealthy startup founders often shell out thousands of dollars to crypto ‘experts’ (or ‘advisors’) with the clout to help spread the word to their fans and active communities about a new project. Provided it’s a real project, no harm done. Celebrities become brand ambassadors all the time, that’s no news. What’s however baffling are the hundreds of impoverished startup founders, who without permission slap the names and headshots of popular advisors on their token sales page hoping to drive in more sales. The project itself might not be a scam but this practice is very unethical. They’ll even go as far as quoting you (the expert) out of context and you somehow wind up on the testimonial page of their STO, all without your knowledge and express approval.
See some examples below. I was a victim too. Imagine inexplicably finding your picture— bad headshot and all, rooting for a project you know nothing about. However flattering it can be, this is really unacceptable.
What other unethical practices have you observed in the crypto space?
Share in the comment section below.