WSJ: Hundreds of crypto offerings show signs of "plagiarism, identity theft and promises of improbable returns"

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"

About Author

Steven Zheng is a researcher for The Block. He joined The Block in August 2018. Steven graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in economics. Previously, he covered blockchain and crypto at Radicle, a startup analytics firm. He also had brief stints at Cheddar, a media startup, and Bowery Capital, a venture capital firm. He owns bitcoin. Follow Steven on Twitter at: @Dogetoshi

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