According to various analytics assessing the performance of initial coin offerings in 2017, less than 40% of all ICOs achieve their funding goals. In some cases this can be because the offering was poorly constructed, the ICO targeted a market that wasn’t large enough to support it, or the concept was inadequately communicated.
In some cases, however, initial coin offerings are blatantly fraudulent, which appears to be the case with the recently-disappeared SpaceICO. The creators of the SpaceICO platform, which was touted as “Kickstarer on the blockchain”, have completely wiped all social media accounts, telegram groups, and BitcoinTalk posts regarding the project, with investors left scratching their heads.
What Was SpaceICO?
SpaceICO was heavily promoted on BitcoinTalk and other ICO tracking platforms in September 2017, and was set to launch a token crowd sale through November 2017. The SpaceICO was a fairly obvious scam ICO- posts on BitcoinTalk claimed that the founders of SpaceX were involved in the creation of the platform.
The SpaceICO ICOClap page, which is still live, describes the platform as the following:
SpaceICO project gains profit on ICO’s for the promising startups. The estimated profit of the project is around 160-340% per annum. The SpaceICO assures that, it gives 90% of the profit from the project operation. It gives high profitability that increases the cost of token for the startups.
Despite claiming to share 90% of profits with investors, SpaceICO appears to have completely disappeared with investor funds. We’re unsure exactly how much the SpaceICO managed to gather before disappearing- a post on the SpaceICO Facebook group, which is still live, references an 8 ETH figure on October 19th 2017.
According to recent Etherscan information, however, there are currently only 9 addresses holding SpaceICO tokens.
The Lesson With SpaceICO
In retrospect, it’s obvious that the SpaceICO platform was clearly doomed to fail. Recently-created social media profiles of team members with stock image photos? Check. No escrow? Check. “Temporary technical problems” throughout the ICO? Check.
When assessing an ICO, it’s essential to perform your due diligence to ensure you aren’t burned by similar ICO disappearing acts in future.