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According to new research published in the Wall Street Journal, more than 15% of cryptocurrency projects attracting funds through the initial coin offerings (ICO) have serious flaws that should alert investors. The investigation, which analyzed technical documents on 3300 cryptocurrency proposals and ICO, launched in 2017 and 2018, revealed that 513 of them made plagiarism, distorted the identity of the project’s founders or promised unrealistic results.
The Wall Street Journal checked the official documents that were found at ICOBench.com, Tokendata.io and ICORating.com. To identify plagiarism, reporters compared the sentences in the reports, and noted those that appeared more than once. To find “implausible” promises of return on investment, in the magazine looked for keywords, such as “high income” and then analysed them manually. Of the 513 noted projects, more than 30 are already under the scrutiny of regulators, and more than half of the websites are inaccessible.
The Wall Street Journal’s results are hardly surprising given the ICO market reports. True, many ICOs failed at launch, and many companies took advantage of the new funding model to launch unreliable projects.