An initial coin offering called Prodeum has scammed investors and greeted them with a one-word ‘penis’ salute after the fact.
A quick scan of the project’s Ethereum deposit address shows that less than two ether’s worth of funds were actually collected across 44 total transactions. Considering some of those transactions are withdrawals, it appears very few people are impacted by the scam.
Still, this incident doesn’t reflect well on the industry. Especially considering the recent crackdowns levied on bitcoin exchanges in South Korea and the ever increasing scrutiny being placed on ICO’s by various governing bodies like the Securities Exchange Commission.
Poaching Investors With Produce
Prodeum does have a professional looking white paper available via Google docs. The mission statement explains that one day, distributors, retailers and consumers of produce will be able to scan a food item and see the history of where that food comes from.
The white paper then goes into more on its ecosystem and tokenization methods, all of which appear to be legitimate.
What also appears legitimate at first glance is the fact that it is a real project based out of Lithuania with an experienced team of engineers behind it.
A closer look at the LinkedIn profiles of the project’s technical team reveals no mention of the word Prodeum anywhere. That includes the profile of the lead Ethereum developer (which just now got marked unavailable).
Of the four LinkedIn profiles mentioned in the white paper, only one member of the supposed technical team publicly distanced himself from the project. Darius Rugevicius clarified that he has no affiliation with Prodeum despite the fact the white paper listen as Lead Strategist.
So Who Is Behind It All?
That’s the one burning question nobody can answer at the moment. As of right now the Prodeum website now links to an industry influencer’s Twitter feed. That hardly offers any proof.
Considering one member of the technical team listed in the white paper denounced any affiliation with Prodeum, odds are nobody linked to the project publicly is actually part of it.
Don’t Get Caught In The Hype
Prodeum is yet another example of an exit scam. A nice white paper and a few outbound links to LinkedIn profiles is all it took. Make sure you take a look at official ICO ratings from trusted third-party sources before you even consider parting ways with bitcoin or ETH.
Don’t let exit scams leave you out in the cold like your local grocer’s freezer.
Editor’s note: The precise value of the scam remains unknown but is far less than the ‘millions’ reported earlier. This has been corrected.
Featured image from Shutterstock.