The Wall Street Journal analyzed 3,300 ICOs from ICOBench.com, Tokendata.io, and ICORating.com, and found that 16%, or 513, of them, showed signs of "plagiarism, identity theft and promises of improbable returns." The Journal used the following methodology to identify possible red flags:
- To identify plagiarism, the Journal "compared sentences with at least 10 unique words to every other sentence in other white papers"
- To identify identity theft, the Journal did reverse image searches of photos of people "associated with 343 projects lacking key details about team members"
- To identify promises of improbable returns, the Journal searched a project's white papers for the terms like "nothing to lose" and "guaranteed profit"