[THE INVESTOR] Fake Kakao ICO websites are rampant since the Korean internet giant debuted its own blockchain business unit Ground X in March.
During the launch event, Kakao’s co-CEO Joh Su-yong made it clear the firm has no plans to launch its own coin. “There are so many rumors about our ICO but all of them are scams,” he said at the time.
Despite the CEO’s warning, the rumors about Kakao’s planned ICO have shown no signs of abating, with malicious people rushing in to scam investors.
“I also heard Kakao was planning an ICO,” a Seoul-based project manager for several ICO events told The Investor on condition of anonymity. “The scam-filled nature of ICOs is widely known but people are investing blindly.”
A fake Kakao ICO site
Kakao launches blockchain biz unit Ground X in Japan
The website www.kakao.network is the latest fake one. On July 19, Kakao released a rare urgent note saying the site is not associated with company.
“We are developing a blockchain platform through Ground X but anything on the website, including the coin sale, has nothing to do with us,” the note reads, warning users to rely only on information from Kakao’s official communication channels.
The site purported it was launched by Ground X to sell the coin, called KON that can be used as virtual money in using all Kakao services. All the details, including the whitepaper, team members and key investors, faked those of Kakao’s blockchain unit.
The tracker claimed it has already “raised” 50,000 Ethereums in its private sale.
Even though much attention is being paid now, the site still remains online. A Kakao spokesperson said the company will take proper actions, including reporting to the police.
According to a recent study by the ICO advisory firm Satis Group, almost 80 percent of last year’s ICOs were “identified scams.” In terms of the number, 78 percent were outright frauds, 4 percent straight up failed, and 3 percent had “gone dead,” which means they raised funds but never were listed.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)