Not Gone: Savedroid ICO Comes Back, Plans ICO Advisory Service

  • SafeDroid, a company that had reportedly pulled an exit scam, revealed it was all a publicity stunt showing how easy it is to pull such a scam in this sector
  • While the team claims it wants to help regulators and will launch an ICO advisory service, investors didn't enjoy the move

In a YouTube video titled “And it’s NOT gone” published by SaveDroid AG the company's founder, Yassin Hankir has recently revealed that the company hasn’t pulled an exit scam, and unveiled it plans to launch an ICO advisory service to help with regulatory efforts.

According to reports, the German-based company, SaveDroid, has been accused of conducting an exit scam, as its website’s homepage had been altered to a single image of the 'Aaand, it's gone' meme from South Park.

Through Twitter, Hankir gave investors the idea that the company pulled an exit scam, as he shared a picture at the beach holding a beer, while captioning it “Thanks guys! Over and out…” The project reportedly raised over €40 million (about $49 million) from investors.

 

SaveDroid has made waves within the German Fintech sector, as the amount it raised is relatively large, compared to other startups in the country. Local news outlets even speculated SaveDroid was hacked.

Seemingly, the company just attempted to pull a publicity stunt that seems to have left a bad taste in its investors’ mouths. While the move got media attention, it also garnered investor ire.

“And It's NOT Gone!”

SaveDroid’s webpage recently added a Youtube video, in which its CEO Hankir explains that the team pulled a fake exit scam, which was not intended to be a prank. Instead, it was a move meant to convey what he refers to as a 'serious message'.

"If we look at this market, we've seen that there is so much scamming happening... From the beginning to the very end of an ICO. And what we've seen so far has been only the tip of the iceberg."

Yassin Hankir

Hankir then mentions the damage that such wide-scale scamming has on the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s credibility. The false scam was SaveDroid's way of demonstrating how easy it is for a company to shut down, leaving investors in the dark and out by hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

"The message behind this is, if we don't change that and if we don't go for better regulation. We believe that this will bring the whole market down...," he said.

Organizations such as US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are seeking a more collaborative system of regulation and oversight. This is akin to what Hankir goes on to address, claiming SaveDroid wants to help counter the prevalence of scams in the cryptocurrency world.

"SaveDroid wants to contribute in two ways: Firstly, we do want to be an active partner for regulators, for authorities. So basically sharing our insights, sharing our knowledge by discussing with the guys how sustainable regulation would look like (…) The second part of it being we will launch a new service line which is [a] professional ICO advisory..."

Yassin Hankir

While the video’s intentions were seemingly good, the number of dislikes the video has makes it clear investors didn’t enjoy the move.

BBC: Facebook Planning to Launch ‘GlobalCoin’ in Q1 2020

Siamak Masnavi

Social networking giant Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency (internally dubbed "GlobalCoin") and crypto-powered global payments network (internally called "Project Libra") worldwide by Q1 2020, according to a report published earlier today by BBC News, the world's largest broadcast news organization.

Project Libra's Origin Story

  • 8 May 2018: In a post on Facebook, David Marcus, the former head of Messenger, who was at that time also a board member (since December 2017) of crypto exchange Coinbase, revealed that he was leaving that role to set up a new group focused on exploring applications of blockchain technology across the whole of Facebook.
  • 13 December 2018: Cheddar reported that Facebook’s blockchain group is planning to "potentially disrupt the entire payments industry":

"At a private dinner Facebook hosted during a recent crypto conference, one attendee told Cheddar that Facebook employees pitched the idea of creating a decentralized digital currency for the social network’s 2 billion users."

  • 21 December 2018: Bloomberg reported that Facebook was creating its own cryptocurrency (a stablecoin) for money transfers within its highly popular messaging app WhatsApp.
  • 28 February 2019: The New York Times confirmed Bloomberg's earlier story, and said that, according to its sources, this project was "far enough along that the social networking giant has held conversations with cryptocurrency exchanges about selling the Facebook coin to consumers."
  • 8 April 2019: Nathaniel Popper, one of the two journalists who wrote the report in the New York Times, provided this update (on Twitter) about Facebook's cryptocurrency project:
  • 2 May 2019: The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was "recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system," and that the core part of this initiative (code-named "Project Libra") is "a digital coin that its users could send to each other and use to make purchases both on Facebook and across the internet." Furthermore, this report said that, according to people familiar, Facebook was talking to "financial institutions including Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and payment processor First Data Corp." about investing in this project.
  • 17 May 2019: A report by Reuters said that FinTech company Libra Network was registered in the Republic and Canton of Geneva on May 2. Looking at the entry for Libra Networks, which was published on May 7 in the Swiss Official Gazettte of Commerce (SOGC), tells us:
    • Libra Networks LLC (registration number: CHE193533388) has its registered office in Geneva.
    • According to the English translation, the stated purpose of this company is "provision of services in the fields of finance and technology, as well as the development and production of related software and infrastructure, particularly in connection with investment activities, the payment operation, the financing, identity management, data analysis, big data, blockchain and other technologies."
    • The share capital is CHF 20,000 (100 shares, each with a nominal value of CHF 200); all of the shares are owned by Facebook Global Holdings II, LLC.

Facebook's Stablecoin: GlobalCoin

Here is what we have learnt from the BBC News report:

  • Facebook "is planning to set up a digital payments system in about a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020."
  • The plan is to start testing the new cryptocurrency (some kind of stablecoin), GlobalCoin, by the end of 2019.
  • Facebook has been getting "advice on operational and regulatory issues" from the UK's central bank governor Mark Carney (whom Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly met in April) and from U.S. Treasury officials.
  • Facebook is also in talks with global remittance firms such as Western Union "as it looks for cheaper and faster ways for people without a bank account to send and receive money."

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