On April 18, 2018, the developers of Savedroid closed their Telegram channel, replaced their website with a meme, and the founder posted ‘Over and out’ on his Twitter account. It was almost certain that they had pulled an exit scam and had run away with investors’ money— but on April 19, the lead developer Yassin Hankir revealed that it was, in fact, all a hoax.
On the official Savedroid YouTube channel, Hankir posted a video where he explained that Savedroid did not actually exit scam but rather faked a disappearance as a means of raising awareness about fraudulent activity. In the video, Hankir states his main reason for doing so was because ‘exit scams[are] all over the place,’ and he was hoping his act would somehow make people warier.
Of course, there are much simpler and less inflammatory ways to make people aware of such an issue without pulling a practical joke. Hankir provided a half-baked apology in the video for his actions and said, ‘This was not meant to do any prank, this was not meant to do fun of anyone’, but that is in fact what he did.
It is glaringly obvious to anybody viewing the situation that pretending to steal people’s money is going to be perceived as a cruel joke. It goes without saying that if you are going to perform a practical joke with people’s money, you had better make sure it is a funny one because most people do not want their finances to be played with by immature developers.
Above all, despite what the developer says, it is obvious that this whole situation has been designed to be a marketing stunt. By playing with the emotions of the crypto-community, Savedroid has successfully managed to receive heaps of media coverage. Numerous news outlets wrote articles about their project, and several posts about the ICO were made on Reddit and Steemit. This was clearly an act of marketing— and it worked.
What Hankir and the team seem not to understand, is that they have harmed the cryptocurrency industry immensely. They tried to warn people about ICO investments, but all they have done is warned the financial industry about cryptocurrency.
Hankir made a point of explaining how easy it is to exit scam even when you have a rating of 4.0 from ICObench. In an earlier article, I suggested that there were only two ways that Savedroid could have received such a high score, either through fraudulent behavior or through bribery. I think it is clear now that it was through fraudulent behaviour— Hankir and the team had falsely given the impression that they were sensible, reliable, and mature people. This stunt proves how wrong that is. The current rating for Savedroid has reached 2.4/5.0 and is still falling.
It is easy to think of Savedroid’s actions as mostly harmless, but recognize that there were people who placed large sums of money into their hands. To drive home just how seriously people took the staged exit scam, enraged investors took to trying to track Hankir down. From this mere tweet, people managed to discover exactly where Hankir was. This image of Hankir holding a drink up against the landscape was enough for people to find his exact location: Hamrawein Port. The coordinates are here.
The Savedroid team’s act of cruelty reveals just how disconnected they are. This was not a harmless PR stunt.
In the end, all Savedroid have managed to achieve is a tarnished reputation and a general feeling of loss within the community.
Kai is a cryptocurrency copywriter and professional trader. He can often be found investigating various cryptocurrencies, whitepapers, and blockchain technologies. Kai has been a professional writer for 5+ years, and has invested in 50+ different coins and tokens. He also currently studies Law and Philosophy at university.