An online platform created in Russia has set a noble goal of making the cryptocurrency industry safer for investors. The project investigates initial coin offerings (ICOs) that have raised suspicions and performs the due diligence for free. A report about each ICO is then published containing а summary of the findings and a conclusion about the project’s nature.
Coin Offerings Under Surveillance
The Crypto Detectives portal examines the whitepaper and website of a project that’s been included in its “Under Surveillance” list. The established business model, applied marketing strategy and legal structure of the company conducting the token sale is placed under a magnifying glass.
The platform checks the social media accounts and Slack channels used by the startup and verifies whether its team members are real persons. Investigators look for online activity including media appearances and interviews.
The market segment in which the ICO project is positioned are analyzed with the help of external experts. The final report is also based on a study of the competition in the sector and the economic viability of similar tokens that have been issued by other projects.
Anyone can suggest a new investigation by filling out an online form on the Crypto Detectives’ website, providing their name, phone number and email address, along with a short description of the case and other information relevant to the request.
Red, Yellow and Green Projects
The platform claims it does not conduct its investigations in order to blackmail startups and it does not produce custom-made reports. The authors admit their conclusions reflect their subjective opinions but note they are ready to revise them if provided with information refuting the findings. They also say they are ready to support good projects that plan to conduct ICOs.
The crypto detectives point out that they care about the interests of investors in the cryptocurrency industry. Through a partnership with another company, LT Solutions, they also offer legal advice to investors and provide legal support to people who have lost money in fraudulent schemes including ICOs, cryptocurrency trading platforms and crypto-lending programs.
The surveyed projects are classified according to the results of the investigations and assigned an alert rating which can be green, yellow or red. A table shows if the crowdfunding is completed or ongoing and provides links to the projects’ websites and whitepapers.
A Couple of Examples
Crypto Detectives has so far investigated and rated over a dozen ICOs. Among them is Wi Fi Global, which has been tagged with a red alert indicating the project is dangerous for potential investors. The business idea behind its token sale has been plagiarized from another Russian project with a similar name – World Wi-Fi. It aims to build a decentralized wifi system that allows users to connect to otherwise locked wifi networks anywhere in the world, free of charge. The expenses will be covered by advertisers, while the owners of the wifi devices will get a share of the revenues for allowing guest users to access the web through an additional secured public network created for them.
The Wi Fi Global project, however, has been exposed as an outright scam. It turns out neither of the names on its management team belongs to a real individual. The ICO has no reputable advisors and it hasn’t issued the promised ERC20 token, WT. At the same time, its online marketing has been very aggressive, with pages and pages of posts and comments on crypto forums. Crypto Detectives’ conclusion is clear: “Trust us, there is no chance you’ll ever get anything from this project. These are thieves and rogues.”
The Russian detectives have designated another ICO called Bloom as a “green” project. It plans to create a global decentralized credit scoring system with a number of useful applications and features, from credit history manager to credit risk calculator. Three of the project’s four co-founders have been roommates at Stanford and its advisors are legitimate representatives of the industry, including for example Joeu Krug, co-founder of Augur. Bloom is also partnering with other projects like Ethland, Lendoit and Everex.
“Although the project is in its early stage, the ‘dream team’ behind it, and the fact that it’s well elaborated, suggest that it will be successful … Stanford rules,” Crypto Detectives concludes.