How Block Broker Scammed ICO Investors
Considered the “world’s first decentralized ICO platform”, Block Broker offered two simple promises:
- To help you invest in the right ICO.
- To save you from ICO frauds and scams.
The irony, however, is the project saving you from scams is itself a scam. Investors have lost money. And there is nothing anyone can do about it.
How It Started
Block Broker started with a revolutionary idea to eliminiate your risks as an ICO investors. It promises a new platform for investment, in which you will gain access to cryptocurrencies at the ICO (or even better) rates.
To eliminate the risk, you have to sign up on the website. Then you select the ICO that interests you. And then pay to Block Broker in the form of BKBK tokens. This payment serves as an escrow.
After this, Block Broker monitors the ICO. After the sale ends, you will receive your purchased tokens (given the ICO tokens are listed on an exchange). If the tokens are not listed or turns out to be a scam, you will get back your BKBK tokens.
What Happened Next
To create awareness, Block Broker launched a $900,000 bounty program. Here, you get free BKBK tokens to tweet, write articles, and interact on social media channels. Basically, you shill the coin to create awareness.
As you look into the Bitcointalk forum, you will see their bounty campaigns has hundreds of replies. And it goes onto show how powerful these campaigns are as a marketing tool — and how we humans promote anything in return of something.
Meanwhile, Block Broker was also listed on several airdrop websites. They gaveaway their tokens to crypto enthusiasts. And also remained active on social media channels inclduing Reddit, Telegram, and Medium.
Because they had a pretty decent website, a promising idea, with a 6 cent ICO price, ICO rating platforms generously rated Block Broker — grabbing the attention of potential investors.
How The Scam Was Spotted
Everything looked legit until recently. In fact, on Block Broker’s Telegram channel, one of the investor spotted suspicious activity. He saw how the team has been scamming innocent investors. On Twitter, @DonnyBitcoin explains in detail:
Basically, the team is engaged in token manipulations, and is transferring a portion of its tokens to ForkDelta — a decentralized token exchange. This way they have been exit scamming investors without their knowledge.
Plus, as Donny points out, the company has several similar projects like $BETA, $GAMM, $BKBK, $PTP, $MAR, $CVTC.
When the tweet was posted on the Telegram group, the user was banned. Right now, Block Broker’s website is down:
Its Medium account is suspended, and the Reddit sub is inactive. In fact, Block Broker is a low-key scam that no one will write about. But then, on the other side, there are hundreds and thousands of investors who were sucked into it at an early stage.