ICO, the Initial Coin Offerings young companies use to fund their project development with the help of cryptocurrencies, has been the trend in the last year. Not a day passes without another announcement of an ICO, but some of them can be dangerous for investors.
What Happened With Gramtoken.io?
The Telegram messaging app, a non-profit cloud-based messaging service, was unintentionally involved in a scam, that announced the companies ICO for this January.
The site, called Gramtoken.io, was well designed and equipped with all sorts of ICO related information and even made it possible for users to deposit Bitcoin or Ethereum in exchange for their “GRAM” token.
With a blockchain platform called TON (Telegram Open Network) acting as a network for messages and decentralized payments, the ICO seemed legitimate. The whitepaper included brilliant looking terms like “Infinite Sharing Paradigm” and “2-D Distributed ledgers;” there even was a technical whitepaper.
Still, Telegram itself never announced any blockchain related project on their site. The Telegram community was in turmoil and questioned the legitimacy of the ICO. Even though directed at Telegram founders, many tweets were not answered directly. Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, later tweeted that ‘several scam websites’ had been discovered.
In addition to any recognition of the real Telegram website, Gramtoken.io had no information on how to reach any party involved in the project. And while it couldn’t get any weirder, many other distinct scam sites claimed to host the Telegram ICO.
Through Twitter on January 16th, 2018, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov finally confirmed that Gramtoken.io is, in fact, a scam. Other than this response, no Telegram team members have made any statements directed towards the Gramtoken.io ICO or website. The Gramtoken.io website has been taken down since.
Currently, we are not aware of how many people have been scammed and how much Bitcoin or Ethereum was lost during the Gramtoken ICO. As cryptocurrency, blockchain and ICOs become more and more popular, so will crypto-related scams and they might become more difficult to identify. Please do your own intensive research before investing in token offerings.