The Ethereum-based startup, Confido, seems to have vanished shortly after raking in $374,000 from their investors during their Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
According to the startup’s advertising, Confido would have served as a blockchain-based app with which users can remit payments and track their shipping orders. During their ICO campaign which only lasted from 6 – 8 November, the Confido ICO sold tokens to investors using the Ethereum platform.
However, shortly after concluding their ICO, Confido seems to have vanished. This last Sunday, the team deleted their Twitter account, and their website is no longer available. According to reports, a Confido spokesperson posted a comment on their Reddit subforum, however, this subforum has since been made private.
However, users did confirm that the spokesperson blamed the bizarre and troubling events on legal problems which would make it difficult for Confido to resume business operations. The same message was reportedly posted on Medium but has since been removed.
However, according to a cached version of the now-deleted Medium post, the message states that Confido encountered legal problems due to a contract they signed.
While the spokesperson states that they are working towards overcoming their legal obstacles, the spokesperson also stated that they cannot guarantee this. Following some investigation, the responsible person for the post is thought to be Joost van Doorn, who seems to have no social media accounts other than a deleted LinkedIn profile.
However, even van Doorn seems confused as to what’s happening. Several hours following his initial post on Reddit, van Doorn stated that he was not aware of the company removing their website and social media accounts. To date, van Doorn has also declined to respond to any requests for comment from media outlets worldwide.
Just last week, Confido tokens still had a promising market cap of $10 million, however since the company’s disappearance, the tokens have become virtually worthless, and investors are in uproar.
The popular cryptocurrency-related forum, Bitcointalk, is rife with users crying scam, and unfortunately, many users are now reluctant to ever participate in ICOs again.
It is still unknown what happened to the investors’ $374,000. Unfortunately, several users turned to TokenLot, a platform which facilitates several ICOs, including Confido, to demand answers. According to the co-founder of TokenLot, Eli Lewitt, investors have been seeking answers from them ever since Confido’s disappearance. Lewitt himself, even stated that the Confido team are skilled scammers.
Unfortunately, this latest ICO scam is unlikely to sit well with both potential investors and government agencies alike, both of which have been crying out for stricter regulatory policies. Dark events such as fraudulent ICOs continue to damage cryptocurrency’s reputation amongst traditional financial institutions, government regulators, and investors. Something which could be especially damaging since cryptocurrency has only recently taken its first steps into the mainstream financial landscape.