Sirin Labs Founder Had His Bitcoin Stolen After Buying Grin Tokens Through Fake Altonomy OTC Seller
It looks like not even the savviest developers and entrepreneurs are immune to scammers. Moshe Hogeg, the founder of Sirin Labs and its current co-CEO, was the victim of a scam recently on Telegram.
Sirin Labs, you may remember, had a very successful Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which was endorsed by the famous football player Lionel Messi and raised over $150 million USD in order to create a blockchain smartphone. If the guy who founded this project can fall into a scam, anyone can.
During the scam, he lost an undisclosed but considerably large amount of Bitcoin, as he confessed on a Facebook post later. Hogeg tried to buy Grin, a new privacy token that uses the Mimblewimble technology using Bitcoin via an over the counter (OTC) desk.
His idea was to look for a reliable seller on the platform. He chooses @JanDirecks, which alleged to be trading for Altonomy OTC, which was, on its turn, vouched by a third party that was trusted by the founder of Sirin Labs.
The issue was that both the trustee and the fake seller were in the scam together, so they took the money via Telegram and vanished. It was a well-done scam and the man even sent some Grin tokens to Hogeg in order to prove that he was actually holding the tokens.
Cryptos’ Biggest Advantage Is Also Their Biggest Disadvantage
Hogeg proceeded the transaction and sent the money to the escrow trustee. However, as the seller and the trustee were in the scam, they simply took off without ever sending the tokens back to Hogeg. He soon learned that the seller was not actually from Altonomy OTC afterward and lost his money forever.
As Sirin Labs has just launched its phone, this was probably a very powerful blow against its founder, which is probably never trusting OTC desks again now. He said that you should “trust no one” and recommended avoiding OTC desks and using regular exchanges instead.
In fact, this highlights the fact that cryptos may be wonderful because you are your own bank but they also make you bear all the responsibility. You can’t complain to anyone when you make a transaction via Telegram and simply does not get your money. It’s your mistake and yours alone.
This is, probably, why so many people are not so keen to abandon centralized networks. They may limit you, but they also protect you from cases like this one.