It’s been reported earlier this week that Yassin Hankir, CEO of German-based startup Savedroid, took off with the $50 million raised in its initial coin offering. The following day, Hankir posted a Youtube video to explain that it was a ‘drastic campaign’ to prove how easy it is to fool investors within the cryptocurrency space and what Savedroid can do to change that.
$50 Million ICO Scam Turns Out to Be Publicity Stunt
It was recently reported that the founder of Savedroid, Yassin Hankir, took the $50 million raised in its ICO and headed for the beach. The company has even cleared its Frankfurt office and shut down its website and Telegram channel.
— Dr. Yassin Hankir (@YassinHankir) April 18, 2018
It didn’t take long for investors to react online. From “Hey @savedroidAG is this some kind of late April fools?”, by an irritated user on Twitter, tension then escalated to the media, including coverage by Bloomberg. Rage soon followed, with very explicit death threats made on Twitter and claims that the founder of Savedroid was being tracked.
Hankir then explained in a Youtube video that it was not meant to be a prank nor to make fun of anyone.
“We did that to convey a very important and serious message which we believe the whole ICO and crypto industry are concerned with for the future. If we look at this market, and that’s what we have experienced in the last four months, we saw there’s so much scam happening. Scam from the beginning to the very end of an ICO. Exit scams all over the place. I believe what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg”, Hankir said on a Youtube video, which obtained 951 dislikes against 351 likes.
The publicity stunt was meant to show that the ICO market needs to be a sustainable refinancing option for successful and innovative startups, which is being endangered by the successive scams. “If you don’t go for better regulation, we believe that this could bring the whole market down”, Hankir said, adding that the startup is launching a professional ICO advisory service in order to help establish high-quality ICO standards.
To give you more transparency on how we carried out this campaign, please watch our “Behind the Scences” video! ?️?️?️ #anditsgone #behindthescenes #makingof #savedroid #ICO #savedroidICOhttps://t.co/axCGpIifpB pic.twitter.com/2bg1Fkucvu
— savedroid (@savedroidHQ) April 19, 2018
The backlash soon followed. The company’s Twitter following called it out for its bad taste. “Trust is Lost. Savedroid should leave Crypto. Only shit-talking after an ICO”, said user Horse Seeman. “Even non-investors hate your brand now”, said another user. “I think you really planned to disappear and then got afraid because they found you!”, said user onimahoni.
Image from Shutterstock.