It is crypto grifter season. No day goes by without a newly uncovered scam. How can get-rich-quick scammers continue finding victims without opposition? Fintelegram believes that this is due to a lack of oversight by both regulators as well as media and urges these bodies to take up their responsibilities.

Another day, another ICO scandal. The alleged scandal involving UK MP Grant SHAPPS tells a lot of the state of ICO regulation in the UK. The former co-chair of the British Conservative Party and a member of Parliament had to step down from his co-chairmanship of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain, which he had set up last year. This move came after the Financial Times disclosed that Shapps apparently failed to disclose a US$3.7 million interest in tokens issued by an ICO. SHAPPS advised the blockchain startup OpenBrix in its Initial Token Offering (ICO aka ICO). Currently, the team is raising funds in the pre-sale to the public ITO:

Whether buying, or renting, selling or letting, few experiences are more stressful than those related to the
property market. Today’s generation deserve better!
And that’s where the use of blockchain technology could shake-up the future. The distributed ledger
promises cheaper, fairer and more transparent transactions. Disrupting the property market could provide a real boost for everyone involved in the housing chain.
The Rt Hon Grant SHAPPS MP (OpenBrix White Paper)

Unfortunately, it was not him but the officers of the ICO project that informed the Parliamentary working group.

It actually seems as everybody and the kitchen sink are involved in crypto and ICOs to get rich quickly. The unholy alliance of dodgy startup people, questionable ICO advisers, celebrities, politicians and naive investors provide the stage for a phenomenon The New Yorker in June labeled as the grifter season:

“The wind changed, the pressure dropped, and the scent of scamming was suddenly everywhere in the air,” writes Jia TOLENTINO.

We recommand reading the Ephrat Livni‘s great article on Elisabeth HOLMES and other famous grifters stating that “cons reveal something sweet about people, too. We’re naive. We believe that people are who they say they are—because we have to in a functional society […] When someone purporting to be magical comes along and makes promises that seem too good to be true, it may well be because they’re not telling the truth. Anyone who has ever done anything knows it’s difficult to get things done—and so our awe of the seemingly awesome should be harder won.

Without any doubt, it’s grifter season in crypto. Grifters such as crypto-scammers rely on the facile desires of victims. Humans are prone to wishful thinking about getting rich quick schemes and thus are more than willing to take their friends (read: victims) with them on their journey towards crypto-MLM schemes or ICOs.

The well-known ICO critic and lawyer Preston BYRNE summarizes this unfortunate crypto-grifter season and formulates it as always very pointedly.

It’s time for regulators around the world to (a) get serious about learning how this technology does and does not work, (b) work with legislators to get the power to put an end to market conduct which is abusive of the investing public and (c) put those powers to use […] Regulators of the world, the time for exploratory work is past. Clean house, come up with a battle plan, establish a supervisory framework, and enforce it.

FinTelegram understands itself as a gatekeeper fighting the “grifter virus” in close partnerships with lawyers, enforcement agencies, and honest actors in the crypto-scene. In our view, we are currently at the very beginning of a scam tsunami threatening to wash away investors’ trust and the future of crypto. Hence, we consider people like Preston BRYNE and their thought-provoking writings as essential to the future of crypto.

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