Exit scam or not, the stunt that Savedroid pulled this week was irresponsible.
The Frankfurt-based company, allegedly to raise awareness about the need for more initial coin offering (ICO) regulations, tricked investors into believing it had pulled an exit scam.
As CCN reported, Savedroid replaced its website with the “Aaand it’s gone” meme from South Park, while founder Yassin Hankir tweeted “Over and out,” along with pictures that made it appear that he had fled the country and was hiding out on a remote beach.
The next day, Savedroid revealed in a video titled “And it’s NOT gone” that the incident had actually been an elaborate ruse, which the company is using to promote its new ICO advisory service.
“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.”
Okay? You got us. Congratulations.
Yes, we believed that you had pulled an exit scam — because you more or less told us that you had pulled an exit scam.
Savedroid claims that its ICO attracted more than 35,000 investors, and the company reportedly raised $50 million between its token sale and other funding sources.
It’s impossible to overstate how irresponsible — and childish — this stunt was, particularly for a company who claims to be so concerned about regulations.
We’ve all read far too many anecdotal stories about investors who have naively invested their life savings in projects that later turned out to be scams to know that this prank — because no matter what Savedroid says, it was a childish prank — could very easily have had life-and-death consequences.
What message does Savedroid think that this stunt sends to investors, who entrusted them with their funds? I’m not a Savedroid investor, but if I was I imagine that I would demand my money back.
More pointedly, can you imagine the uproar if a $50 million company in any other industry had attempted to pull a similar stunt?
Even had the stunt been an April Fool’s Day prank, it would have been in bad taste. The fact that it was not, only makes it that much more morbid.
Savedroid might claim that it is raising awareness about the need for regulation in the nascent ICO space, but the truth is that it is contributing to the problem.
Featured image from Shutterstock.