While the crypto market certainly has its upsides, there are also many reports coming out daily which reveal the dark end of this business. Just a couple of days back it was discovered that Confido (a name which ironically translates to “I trust”), a new blockchain based service had set off with more than 1,235 ETH of customer investments. To add fuel to the fire, the company was working on a product that was to deliver users with a “trustless payment system using smart contracts”. Confido’s tokens, CFD, were sold to ICO participants between November 6th and 8th.
However, within weeks of raising the money, the project founders went awol and deleted all of their online accounts. This scam involving more than $375,000 really showcases the tangible risks that are inherent to the still largely “unregulated ICO market”.
Has Any Action Been Taken?
The legalities of the matter are still unclear, but after several protests over the weekend, all online traces of the company have been eliminated via a step by step process. Users seeking more information can visit google and access a cached version of the site. Additionally, a ‘who.is’ enquiry has been done over the past week to get more details of the people involved. It has been that the company is located in Berlin, and is owned by a person by the name of Joost Van Doorn.
Who Is Joost?
Joost van Doorn is the project’s founder and CEO. However, this data cannot be verified, and is likely to be false. Some people on various forums have come out and said that Joost actually had a running Facebook page till a little while back (it has since been deactivated). Additional investigation has shown that the confido.io domain was registered with Namecheap, a service provider that is known to accept payments in the form of bitcoins.
An FAQ on the company’s cached website poses such questions as “Why is the hard cap so low?”, to which the reply was “We think the current ICO space is messed up; companies are raising millions without a fully working product or existing customers. We have talked with financial analysts and we simply don’t need more than $400,000 to develop and market our project.”
After removing their social media accounts, a Confido spokesperson took to Reddit to relay that ‘legal problems’ had stopped the developers from being able to further pursue with the project. “Right now, we are in a tight spot, as we are having legal trouble caused by a contract we signed. It is likely that we will be able to find a solution to rectify the situation. However, we cannot assure you with 100% certainty that we will get through this.”
He then returned later to claim he was caught equally unawares by the disappearance as the investors, “Look I have absolutely no idea what has happened here. The removal of all of our social media platforms and website has come as a complete surprise to me.”
Other Latest Developments In This Case
As if what we have just stated wasn't bad enough, apparently Confido tokens are still up for sale online. According to the Confido contract address, the company currently has a balance of 0 ether and just 676 CFD tokens (which works out to a whopping sum total of $21). Not to mention, that the token’s value has fallen by over 94% since the scandal broke out in early November.
Also, a quick look at google’s webcache shows that the company was in regular touch with its customers. There are comment threads that can be viewed that read “You sold the future of online crypto commerce at 5 M market cap OP. You sold too early and you will have to live with that”.
Similarly on the 19th of November somebody posted. “Wait a second, is this real? I woke up not too long ago and I am down over $54K on my investment in CFD…I bought in with almost everything I had when it was .94 cents. What is happening? I am seeing rumors that the developers did an exit scam. Is this true? Does anyone know why their website is down? I’m not getting any responses from email or anything. I feel really f*****g sick. Can someone tell me please what is happening?”.
Subsequent to the developments, the price of Confido token has lost over 90 percent of its value. Not that it may ever be worth anything, mind you.