The McAfee Way to Exploit The ICO Hype

Times are changing rapidly for ICO advisors and cheerleading ICO bounty hunters. Regulators may consider them as financial services providers and/or brokers and thus require them to register with regulators and apply for the respective licenses. Actually, the hype around ICO’s was founded on those ICO advisors and experts and their ICO events to promote their clients.

In recent weeks there has been much discussion about the so-called ICO influencers. Well-known personalities such as John MCAFEE have sold themselves and their social media communities to the ICOs, for example. Allegedly MCAFEE received more than $100,000 per tweet to its more than 840,000 Twitter followers. Last week he was warned by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and consequently announced that he would withdraw from the ICO business.
The reason for the warning may have been that the SEC regarded MCAFEE’s activities as a financial services and/or brokerage business, which requires registration and permission. Violations of securities laws result in severe penalties, especially in the USA.

ICOBench and The Compromised ICO Services Industry

ICObench experts list
ICObench experts list

It has become the standard practice for ICO operators to hire self-proclaimed ICO experts and motivate people to promote their ICO through their social media accounts through so-called bounty campaigns. A Bloomberg report suggests that 18% of all crypto-postings in the social media have their origin in such bounty campaigns. Those bounty hunters and ICO experts really “pump up markets“.

In return, these ICO consultants and bounty campaigners receive money and/or tokens from the ICO. The ICObench platform, for example, lists the top ICO experts who can be hired as ICO consultants. This ICObench list is a kind of catwalk for ICO experts. The ICO hype has created its own consulting industry, which has since been heavily criticised. Some ICO’s hire several of these top experts and are expected to be successful according to the motto – the more sales people the more naive investors. We suggest to read this analysis on Tokenicide to learn more about the ICO rating practices:

The Entire ICO Support Service Industry is Corrupt AF

We hate to admit it, especially since the ass clowns ?? behind Tokenicide are all members of that same industry. But after months of witnessing increasing amounts of greed and corruption first hand, we can arrive at no other conclusion. In addition to what sites like ICObench have been doing, here are a few other examples of what we’ve seen, covering all phases of the ICO launch process:

Advisory and Bounty Hunting May be a Regulated Business

An increasing number of founders, lawyers, experts, and authorities are speaking out against an unreflecting marketing of ICOs and the mass-marketing of their tokens. It is now assumed that the activities of those ICO influencers are subject to regulation, at least if the token issued is to be qualified as a “security token”. Therefore, the SEC has just warned John MCAFEE and therefore all bounty hunters and ICO advisers should be careful to avoid conflicts with the law and regulators.

Nikolay Shkilev
ICO expert Nikolay SHKILEV fled LinkedIn
ICO Expert David Drake
David DRAKE – the former #1 in the ICObench experts

This escalating situation with regulators and enforcement agencies may also be the reason why some Americans like David DRAKE suddenly disappeared from the list of top ICO experts on the ICObench list. Until a few days ago David DRAKE was listed as the #1 TOP ICO expert. He is still advisor to the CryptoMillionsLotto ICO with the label “#1 Crypto Expert on ICObench“. Another famous ICO expert listed in the ICObench list, the Russian Nikolay SKHILEV, obviously deleted his LinkedIn profile afer many critics for his unreflected promotions of ICOs. It may not really be a loss for LinkedIn and its members. You can still follow him on Twitter.

Hence, times are changing now for the ICO space without thousands of advisors and cheerleading bounty hunters.  The noise and roar around ICO’s will become noticeably quieter. LinkedIn may be again a place where you are not flooded with new ICO projects every day and the ICO hype will come to an end.


  1. This is a very important and insightful article and we appreciate the reference to Tokenicide. We are proponents of cryptocurrency and blockchain but the ICO industry in particular has become a mess and the only chance we have of cleaning it up is getting the word out so thank you for doing that.

  2. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa?
    My site goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from
    each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to send
    me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Wonderful blog by the way!

    1. You are welcome to contribute to our blog and look forward to get more information on a possible cooperation.

  3. Nikolay S. is still on Linkedin peddling his services. I had the displeasure to negotiate with him and his three cronies in February…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *