It turns out that Savedroid’s “exit scam” was actually a bizarre publicity stunt.
As CCN reported, the German startup -- which had raised as much as $50 million through its initial coin offering (ICO) and external funding rounds -- appeared on Wednesday to have initiated an exit scam. The Savedroid website was replaced by the “Aaand it’s gone” meme from South Park, while Savedroid founder Yassin Hankir published a tweet suggesting that he had run off with the funds and was living the high life on a remote beach.
However, on Thursday Savedroid’s website came back online, and Hankir published a video titled “And it’s NOT gone” in which he explained that the incident -- which he said was not a prank -- was meant to teach the cryptocurrency community a lesson about how easy it would have been for them to scam their investors.
“We wanted to send this very drastic message by saying that look, how easy could have been that even we as a highly-regulated German stock corporation could just have run away, done an exit scam with all the funds, leaving all the investors behind,” Hankir said. “Of course we have not done that, we just wanted to convey that message.”
“This was not meant to do any prank,” he added, “but actually to convey a very serious message that we believe the whole ICO and crypto industry are concerned with for the future.”
Hankir, who did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment, argued in the video that ICOs need to be better regulated to prevent exit scams -- like the one he appeared to perpetrate -- from being quite so common in the nascent space.
He also said that Savedroid will also launch its own ICO advisory service, and the prank-but-not-a-prank appears to have ultimately been an ill-conceived publicity stunt to drum up interest in this new venture.
Featured image from YouTube/Savedroid AG.