This Top-100 Cryptocurrency Smells of a Scam – After Spiking 382% in a Day

Vestchain (VEST) just burst into the top hundred cryptocurrencies by market cap after 382% growth in the past twenty-four hours.

However, a glance at the project’s Bitcointalk forum page reveals something fishy to be afoot, and there’s ample reason to believe that Vestchain might be a scam.

FAKE NAMES, FLIPPED SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTOS…THE MAKINGS OF A SCAM?

Vestchain officially announced its arrival on the Bitcointalk forum back in July of 2018. Most of the token’s forum chatter was positive for the first six months or so. But then in February of this year this scam warning appeared which showed the Vestchain team members had been using fake names, and possibly completely fake identities the whole time.

The team section has now been removed from the Vestchain website, but a series of screenshots reveal that CTO and co-founder, Shawn Carter, is actually a Russian social media user named Cyril Koval.

Likewise, the Head of Business Development and Operations, Darrell Lee, turns out to be another social media user named Roman Gritsenko.

The Backend Developer, Carlos Whittington, was also revealed to be a dating site user with the name Robertas.

As you can see, the photos from the social media site have been flipped and altered slightly using bloom filters. Any username that originally seemed to have a Russian origin was changed to a more Eurocentric counterpart.

VESTCHAIN TEAM RESPOND: ‘OUR TEAM SECTION WAS IN TEST MODE’

Shortly after these photos were discovered and accusations were made, the Vestchain team popped their head up to explain away all the confusion.

From the team’s response on Bitcointalk:

“The section about our Team appeared on our website just a few days ago and is now in a test mode. All the photos, first and second names don’t really exist. Our most considerable mistake is that we haven’t opened the test mode section on our website earlier. Currently, the section about our Team is closed and is being developed. We will soon update this section on our website.”

That means the website’s team section has been in ‘test mode’ using fake names for over six months. It still isn’t clear if the team used their own photos with fake names or fake photos with fake names.

What is clear is that the Vestchain team section has since disappeared from the project’s website – which now gives no details whatsoever on its team members. Sharp-eyed users on Bitcointalk have since identified multiple user accounts connected with the project, which were used to shill the token over the past six to nine months

VEST TOKEN JUMPS 382% IN ONE DAY

From the daily low of $0.006056, the value of VEST tokens jumped 382% up to a peak of $0.029249 on Monday. That briefly put Vestchain’s market cap at $206 million, temporarily inserting Vestchain as a top-forty token.

The token price eventually rebounded back to the $0.01 range and left the project with a market cap of $80 million, and a place among the top-seventy capped coins. There’s little to explain the token’s movement at this point, and Monday’s surge was achieved with volume of just $11,000, from trading on just three exchanges.

This post was last modified on 08/04/2019 07:01

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Greg Thomson @gregthomson88

Greg Thomson is a freelance journalist covering the cryptocurrency and blockchain beat. He contributed to numerous crypto news outlets before joining CCN and Hacked in 2018. Reach him directly gregthomson888@gmail.com, or Tweet at @gregthomson88.

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