Like many crypto-based websites, Crypto Disrupt published the story about Yassin Hankir doing an exit scam with the proceeds of the Savedroid ICO. Estimates of the amount of money he had plundered ranged from $4 million to $50 million and a worldwide hunt for the conman was quickly put in place by the tech-savvy crypto community.
In the Crypto Disrupt article, and across the whole crypto ecosystem, questions were being asked how Yassin Hankir and Savedroid managed to fool the rating system of ICObench. The answer appeared to be that ICObench were not up to the task or the panel of “experts” were paid to give false ratings. Meanwhile, stories were spreading across the internet of investors that were now suicidal as they had lost their life savings. How could this scam happen for an ICO registered in Germany since they have quite strict crypto controls?
As time progressed, the manhunt for Yassin Hankir was closing in as the Twitter images he posted had given enough clues to pinpoint his location at a beach in Egypt. It was only a matter of time before law enforcement officers arrested him, or so the community thought. The day after the news of the scam broke, Savedroid posted on YouTube that the scam was actually an elaborate PR stunt. In the video, Hankir justified the hoax with two reasons:
He argued that investors don’t research ICOs in sufficient depth to know if they can trust the team behind the project. Hankir points out that some ICOs were scams and others have simply failed, so he was attempting to help investors by staging this prank. This is a fair point, and standards do need to improve as they have over hundreds of years for traditional securities. ICOs raise millions of dollars, and in the real world, withdrawing a few thousand dollars from a bank account requires more than one signature. It’s very rare for ICOs to provide details of who these signatories are, and in this hoax, it was assumed Hankir was the sole signatory.
His second point was that it was intended to promote a new venture for Savedroid, which included appraising ICOs and offering an advisory service to businesses considering an ICO. Most investors and many businesses will not want to be involved with Savedroid as this is not the way to highlight the weaknesses in ICOs. The Savedroid ICO has a strong German bias with most of the posts in their Telegram channel being in German. Following this despicable hoax the channel now has posts from all over the world including death threats against the Savedroid team and many soft porn images.
Ironically, a few days before the hoax, Savedroid tweeted an offer of a “Job of the week: Social Media Marketing Intern.” If you think you will enjoy looking at soft porn images and reading death threats for the next few months, an internship with Savedroid will be your perfect job of the week.
Financial analyst, smartphone app designer, technical writer, and crypto enthusiast. Blockchain verified graduate of MOOC 9, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, run by the University of Nicosia.