The cryptocurrency market is extremely volatile, which means it can bring great financial gains or cause significant losses in very little time. Its unsteady nature and the fact that the laymen who now rush to invest in altcoins are not very familiar with how they work have given rise to numerous cryptocurrency scams. Here is a list of the biggest cryptocurrency scams that took place over the past years.
Bitconnect wasn’t one of the cleverest cryptocurrency scams. Its authors didn’t put a lot of effort into orchestrating something complex and presenting their offering to the public as unique. They created a cryptocurrency in which people were urged to invest in order to enjoy fixed returns. The hook was that anyone could invest as much as they wanted, there was no limit, so the scam could also attract people who were rather skeptical or had limited resources. The promise of guaranteed returns was enough to make investors rush to buy Bitconnect, an altcoin that even managed to enter the market’s top 20 coins by market cap, having gathered more than $2.5 billion. The unfortunate end came in 2018 when it was revealed that this was just a Ponzi scheme and most investors ended up gaining zero returns.
This was one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. The platform steadily rose to fame until 2013. By then, almost 70% of all the transactions involving Bitcoin were carried out on this platform. Mt. Gox was regarded as a safe and serious exchange and many investors traded exclusively on its website. However, in 2014, it turned out that the exchange was not as safe as everyone thought as hackers managed to infiltrate the system and vanish with more than 800,000 Bitcoin, which would represent billions of dollars in today’s market.
Github was at the center of one of the most notorious cases of hacking attacks in the cryptocurrency industry. Cybercriminals stole more than $10 million from Github clients. More precisely, the money was kept in ledger wallets in the Ripple (XRP) cryptocurrency. Up to the present date, around 500,000 XRP were recovered.
Pincoin is another example that proves the Ponzi (pyramid) scheme is evergreen. Pincoin was the project of a Vietnamese company known as Modern Tech. This project had a striking success when it was launched. More than 30,000 people invested in Pincoin, a crypto asset that managed to gather over $660 million. To prove that this investment opportunity was legitimate, its founders initially paid back many investors who supported Pincoin. This only contributed to the project’s fame and further growth. However, after a while, Pincoin was replaced by iFan, a new asset that was supposed to generate the same returns. Except that it didn’t. The company shut down and stopped paying investors.
OneCoin was just one of several crypto tokens that proved to be a scam. This cryptocurrency asset was heavily promoted in social media. It also had a well-crafted investment program that allowed people to invest in merchandise, educational materials or provide referrals and get paid in OneCoin for any of these. This crypto investment too was a Ponzi scheme. As such, only a few people, those from the top layers of the pyramid made money. The rest just invested and gained nothing in return. All in all, OneCoin’s founders managed to make around $4 billion from this crypto scam.
Eli and Assaf Gigi are two notorious names for traders and investors who have been active on the crypto market for a while. The two brothers orchestrated a successful crypto phishing scam. What they were doing was luring potential investors by interacting with them on different forums. According to reports, the two managed to steal more than $100 million in crypto from their victims. After persuading them to invest in this market, Eli and Assaf gave investors links that directed them to different phishing websites. Those websites looked and acted like legitimate and well-known crypto exchanges, but they weren’t. People who traded there lost their money.
Crypto scams might not be the most common type of online scam you hear or read about. However, as often proved, many hackers and con artists are eager to prey on investors who put their money and trust in these digital assets.
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