Homepage / Technology / A cryptocurrency start-up disappeared with $375,000 from an ICO and nobody can find them
Asian shares look set to follow Wall Street's soft lead as US tax worries rise Putin and Trump talked on the phone, may have discussed Korean Peninsula Top drone maker will sell $16,500 drone for farmers on Amazon, CEO says 'Most obvious path' for leading US digital currency platform Coinbase is going public, COO says Eating junk and losing sleep: How Uber became a huge headache for Bill Gurley, a top tech investor Uber's purchase of Otto looks like it was much cheaper than originally reported The 5 biggest misconceptions about the Disney-Fox deal Oracle falls despite earnings beat Ripple surges 89% in single day, briefly becomes third biggest digital currency FCC's net neutrality reversal is denounced by Silicon Valley, Democrats Chanos looking at possible bet against Netflix and other streaming services Jim Chanos: We think Tesla is worth zero Wall Street analysts are missing the mark on some red-hot chip stocks Bitcoin investors could see bigger bills thanks to the GOP's tax plan New York attorney general will sue to stop the FCC's 'illegal rollback of net neutrality' Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan share tips to work with a spouse—and how they'll spend their wealth Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan: U.S. schools need more technology and one-on-one instruction Amazon Prime growth is slowing down in the U.S., says Morgan Stanley The FCC has reversed a 2015 rule that could change how you access and pay for internet service Cramer: The Disney-21st Century Fox deal gets rid of 'the ESPN problem' Facebook will put ads before videos as part of a new advertising strategy early next year Twitter shares soar to highest level since October 2016 Overstock.com CEO aims to sell or reorganize e-commerce business so he can focus on blockchain Tiffany shares jump after Citi upgrades, citing new leadership and acquisition speculation Bitcoin may now be the biggest financial bubble of all time Spotify's valuation has jumped as high as $19 billion in advance of US IPO, sources say UK's May 'disappointed' with defeat in parliament but says she's on course to deliver Brexit Art Cashin: The stock market rally on hopes for tax bill has more room to run America’s Public Company Accounting Oversight Board gets a new boss American business has concerns on tax reform Not even “The Last Jedi” will reverse Americans’ retreat from cinemas An accounting scandal sends Steinhoff plummeting Companies in the region vote with their feet against political uncertainty Billionaire media investor Mario Gabelli wonders whether Trump's like of Fox might help Disney deal CEO Bob Iger explains Disney's three-pronged approach to taking on Netflix The Murdochs wanted to sell to Disney—here are 4 reasons why Apple Maps now provides detailed maps of airports Disney deal with Fox to compete with Netflix and Amazon is a ‘lost cause,’ analyst says Deutsche Bank says fear of dying soda industry is overblown, recommends Coca-Cola, Pepsi Apple's most powerful computer ever is now available for purchase If the bitcoin boom goes bust, the stock market could see collateral damage, analyst Bob Doll says The FCC is making a landmark ruling Thursday about the future of the Internet ECB chief Draghi speaks following monetary policy decision Buy Lululemon for its ‘significant opportunities’ in international markets, Deutsche Bank says Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: FOXA, DIS, CBS, VZ, DAL, KO & more Here are five risks — including NAFTA and North Korea — that could get in this bull market's way Disney is better off not meddling with Hulu, despite bigger ownership share Disney to buy 21st Century Fox assets for $52.4 billion in stock; Bob Iger to stay on through 2021 Bank of England unanimously votes to hold interest rates, shifting focus to inflation Bitcoin futures could be coming to Germany soon: Report Putin abandons United Russia party, will run as an independent in 2018 election HSBC's currency expert gives his best trades for 2018 Tax reform should not hurt US trade partners, says top EU official All you need to know about the top 5 cryptocurrencies South Africa's Sibanye-Stillwater to buy troubled platinum producer Lonmin IBM teams up with Samsung, JPMorgan to develop quantum computing Greece should only get a debt deal after its bailout is finished, new Eurogroup president says Europe markets set to open lower after Fed meeting; investors await ECB decision Germany’s in the middle of a deep political crisis, but it won't affect the euro Meet the new euro zone finance chief, who’s promising a fresh response for the embattled region Brexit will be a key challenge for 2018, says next euro zone finance chief South Korea's President Moon heads to China to mend ties. Beijing needs a few favors too Australia accused China of political interference, and Beijing isn't happy China just released a bunch of economic data that was in line with expectations China lifts market rates, following move by Fed China and India are fiercely competing to control an airport that basically nobody uses Chinese state press slams Western 'paranoia' for suspicions of infiltration Microsoft doesn't have a flashy assistant like Alexa, but its A.I. is trying to change how you work Cramer says Fox deal will give Disney the scale it desperately needs Just Capital's Dan Hesse: Companies that do good things have roughly 33 percent higher returns Asian markets to focus on Fed's third rate hike of the year; US dollar slides Cramer: Bull markets 'die on euphoria,' and we're one step away There's a one-bedroom condo for sale in Miami — and the seller will only accept bitcoin Apple co-founder, ‘father of the internet’ to FCC: ‘You don’t understand how the internet works’ Satya Nadella wishes Microsoft had got into the public cloud business sooner This elevator goes up, down and sideways, and could be the key to taller skyscrapers Apple has a $1 billion fund for US manufacturers, but it could invest more, said COO Jeff Williams Fed raises rates a quarter point, hikes growth outlook for economy You should update your iPhone now, as the new software fixes a pretty big bug Ivanka Trump’s brand repositions at home, soars in Asia 'Nobody has built a money-printing machine like Apple,' VC Jason Calacanis says These 90 private companies are reshaping the space industry, says Morgan Stanley Gundlach says if you bet against bitcoin today 'you'll make money' Uber's culture issues can be blamed on Silicon Valley's hunger for fast growth: Arianna Huffington Google, Facebook founders were naive about propaganda, extremist content, say Silicon Valley titans Gundlach: Tax plan could have some' unintended consequences,' hurt junk bond market Cramer: People will fight it, but Apple's investment in Finisar is a 'fantastic' deal Facebook found just three Russian-bought Brexit ads, amounting to less than $1 Overstock.com shares spike after blockchain unit announces for-profit property registry Dow stock Boeing is on track for best year in nearly 4 decades, but the charts point to trouble Another bitcoin rival leaps to a record high, surpassing litecoin's market value Martin Sorrell: Finalized Disney-Fox deal would be a top media investment for us What to expect in Yellen's swan song: 'She's not a showboater' Target to buy grocery delivery service Shipt for $550 million When politicians and executives get caught out Some of Facebook’s early friends now its sharpest critics US says hacker to plead guilty for role in 2016 cyber attacks Laser chip maker Finisar jumps 25% on news that Apple's investing $390 million in the company The Amazon Echo now lets you play Spotify across all of your Echos Citi has 5 reasons — including tax reform and global growth — why Apple can keep crushing market

Technology

A cryptocurrency start-up disappeared with $375,000 from an ICO and nobody can find them

A cryptocurrency start-up that raised nearly $375,000 through an initial coin offering (ICO) has disappeared with the funds with nobody able to track the founders down.

Confido billed itself as a company that is developing so-called “smart contracts” to act as an escrow between a buyer and seller during a transaction of some sort.

Traditional escrows would be held by a third party. But smart contracts are supposed to be fulfilled when both sides meet certain conditions, removing the need for that third party.

The ICO took place earlier this month through a platform called TokenLot that facilitates the fund raising. Nearly $375,000 was raised. Investors were given contract for differences (CFD) tokens.

These tokens traded as much as $1.20 on November 14, but plunged following the disappearance of the Confido team to around $0.02, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.

In the past few days, in what is being dubbed an “exit scam,” online assets related to the Confido founders and the company have been deleted. The firm’s website, Twitter account and Facebook page were erased.

However, a cached version of the company’s Medium post that was put online on Sunday still remains. In the post, the Confido team said that it is in a “tight spot” due to “legal trouble” with a contract.

“We signed the contract with assurance from our legal advisor that there was minimal risk and it would not be an issue. I can’t and won’t go into details, but he was wrong. It is a problem,” the post, on publishing platform Medium, says.

It was authored by Joost van Doorn, the CEO of Confido, but there is no trace of him online. A description of van Doorn on the cached version of Confido’s website says that he has a masters degree in international business and has worked at firms such as eBay, PepsiCo and Zalando.

CNBC has reached out to all three companies to see if they can verify van Doorn’s claim.

A person on Reddit who posted under the name “Chris-ConfidoSupport” claimed Monday to be a representative of Confido, and said he has “absolutely no idea what has happened.” The Redditor claimed to have been in contact with van Doorn for a “number of weeks” and this latest move is “completely out of character.”

Many people on Reddit questioned the credibility of the post and whether the person had actually met the CEO.

An ICO is the latest way for cryptocurrency start-ups to raise money by issuing their own digital tokens in exchange for a virtual currency like ether or bitcoin. Investors don’t get a stake in the company, but the tokens they receive can be traded or used on a service provided by the platform. ICOs have exploded with more than $3.55 billion raised via this method so far this year.

On Monday, TokenLot, the firm that hosted the ICO, put out a statement that said the Confido team had “pulled an exit scam.”

The Medium post said that TokenLot’s lines of communication with the cryptocurrency company had been closed and it doesn’t have any more information outside what has been public. It said that Confido had shown all the required proof needed to list its ICO on the platform.

However, TokenLot said that it was looking for clues to track down the Confido team. Some of the ether tokens collected during the ICO had been sent to an account held with Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange, it said.

TokenLot added that it had been in contact with Bittrex and that it had confirmed the account that the ether was sent to was an account where a “know your customer” check was authenticated. This is a process that is used to verify people are who they say they are online.

TokenLot said that Bittrex’s privacy policy requires a law enforcement request to release customer information, so it’s in the process of filing a report to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to ask the agency to help get the details.

CNBC has reached out to Bittrex via Twitter for more information but is yet to hear back.

TokenLot also said it had reached out to KuCoin, a Chinese exchange that listed the CFD token issued by Confido. Some people took to Reddit to slam KuCoin for not vetting the company properly.

A spokesperson for KuCoin told CNBC on Tuesday: “In order to protect the interests of investors, Kucoin has suspended trading of CFD and are actively seeking contact with the CFD team. We have also started to implement an emergency loss prevention program to help reduce the losses of CFD token investors.”

“If the Kucoin team is unable to contact the CFD team shortly, and re-enable normal trading, the final decision on trading stoppage will be made in a follow-up announcement on the website.”

ICOs are currently unregulated in the majority of the world and completely banned in China and South Korea. This means that investors do not have any protection should an event like this take place.

But many regulators are beginning to look into ICOs and trying to figure out how to deal with their rice. Authorities in Abu Dhabi recently released rules to bring ICOs into the regulatory fold.

However, a number of people in the cryptocurrency and technology world have poured cold water over ICOs.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by value, told CNBC in a recent interview that “a lot of what’s happening in the ICO market is actually fraud.” Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin told CNBC that there is “irrational exuberance” in the ICO market, although he believes the technology will mature and is here to stay.

Source: Tech CNBC
A cryptocurrency start-up disappeared with 5,000 from an ICO and nobody can find them

Comments are closed.