Many of you may have heard about, or even been a part of, the recent highly anticipated ICO from the greatly rated crypto startup Bee Token. Due to the nature of their business, the team behind the project and the partnerships already in place, the Bee Token presale sold out in literally hours and saw the company raise the $10,000,000 they were seeking. Yes, you read that correctly, ten MILLION dollars!
As a result of the success of their presale, and the aforementioned, the public initial coin offering was a massive date marked on the calendar of many crypto investors and, seemingly, hackers alike.
You may have read the report from Coin Telegraph which saw roughly $1,000,000 stolen through a phishing scam, if you didn’t I’ll give you a brief rundown: people legitimately registered for the ICO whitelist somehow had their details leaked to, what I suspect to be a team of, scammers who initiated a scam ICO of their own, in a sense.
Basically what the fraudsters managed to do was create a fake website, with a fake address, and send emails to all those who were registered for the Bee Token sale telling them to participate by sending Ethereum to their phoney public ethereum wallet address.
While the reports are of a million dollars total being stolen I have only been able to locate roughly $600,000 through two of the phishing addresses.
When people noticed the scam was happening the Bee Token Telegram channel was absolutely obliterated with accusations flying left right and centre, some saying the Bee Token staff sold their details to crypto gangsters who conducted the scam and were in on the phishing which happened.
Some members of the community were saying the Bee Token website is really insecure and their KYC information had been hacked from the server, some saying Telegram was hacked, and some stating that the Bee Token itself was a scam. All this resulted in the Bee Token team having to temporarily close the channel from replies to prevent the mass FUD happening.
As this was all happening, people like myself were trying to get a bit of clarity regarding the contribution address and, due to the childish finger pointing, were unable to actually get a response from a member of the team until they had been able to pin a message on their Telegram channel.
Now, I know I won’t be the only person who had this problem and I also know that some people lost a lot of money from this whole ordeal, but I also know that this is another example of the crypto community really needing to grow up and start to realise the damage we are doing to ourselves.
All too often nowadays I see the word ‘scam’ being thrown about at every project and its dog. I know there are many scams happening but, you know, sometimes shit does actually just happen and I feel the constant accusations flying about will be what prevents mass adoption of blockchain technology in general.
If you search pretty much any of the top crypto currencies you will be met with a number of scam accusations which surround it and I can’t help but thinking that any person looking to get into crypto is going to be heavily off-put by all the FUD which everything seems to get.
I have seen freely airdropped coins be called a scam, yes, coins which someone got FOR FREE! How can that be a scam!? If someone gives you something for free and it is worth nothing, you haven’t been scammed, you’ve been given some worthless tat for free. Yet people still shout scam.
Luckily I wasn’t one of the people who sent my ether to a phishing address but I could have been. Would I have called Bee Token a scam as a result? No, I’d of been kicking myself for not doing my due diligence on the address I sent my ether too.
Now, I am not writing a post saying that it is the fault of the people who were scammed, not in the slightest. It’s unfortunate and sometimes you have a momentary lapse in judgement, we all do. What I am saying is that the reaction of the community probably made a lot more people lose money than what should have.
If, when the phishing emails were noticed, the community kept its metaphorical toys in the pram and decided to alert the Bee Token team (they had a number of methods available to report phishing addresses) of the scam they had noticed, the team would have been able to alert the rest of the community of the fake addresses.
Instead of being able to protect their clients the team ended up having to spend a lot of man power moderating their Telegram channel and calming the nerves of investors who were worried that they’ve been ripped off by the Bee Token team themselves.
Now ask yourself, how does this help the crypto community? One of the biggest ICO’s to be released in 2018 has had nothing but FUD spread about it and, as a result of people’s childish behaviour many more people were scammed then what needed to be (not that anyone needed to be).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the cryptocurrency community will be what are the undoing of cryptocurrency if this carries on. Next time, and there will be a next, there always is, something like this happens we need to all keep our heads screwed on, be diligent and alert the ICO team of the phishing attempt, not just shout “scam” at the top of the mountains as loud as we can.
We are in this together and we need to start acting like it.