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Cryptocurrencies have always been volatile and unregulated. The complaints of price manipulations and investment disruptions are recurrent in this market but recently investors have also witnessed some massive cryptocurrency scams. The recent being the Morris coin scam. Morris coin promoters siphoned out around 1200Cr, leaving over 900 people scammed.
The investors of Morris coin got involved in “ICO” or the initial coin offerings like initial public offerings (IPO) in stocks. The master mind behind this astonishing fraud is 31-year-old Nishad who hails from Pookkottumpadam village in Malappuram district. He also ran a Ponzi scheme and is currently an abscond. Morristoken the official website for Morris coin claimed that the company had been listed on the American exchange. Which, thus, made it first Indian cryptocurrency company to have been listed on the exchange.
It was also mentioned that the coin can be used for purchases from an e-commerce website to avail travel perks from travel agencies and buy study packages. Morris coin passed several tests of authenticity that any new entrant would look for. For example, on preliminary research it could be found that the coin had presence on Etherscan, a Block explorer and analytics platform. Moreover, when searched on Pay-Bito exchange, it was found that the coin had indeed been listed and traded on the exchange. Even the white papers of the coin seemed legit and safe to invest.
However, the coin was not verified by Coin Market Cap- world's most-referenced pricetracking website for crypto assets. On further research, one can find that Etherscan list almost every ERC-20 tokens. Even the seasoned investors could have easily fallen to the trap.
As new coins enter the crypto market every month, it becomes increasingly difficult to establish their authenticity. The concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) pushes the new entrants to risk their money in lucrative but worthless coins. While the crypto world is becoming more and more complex, only in-depth research and due diligence can save investors from crypto scams in current scenario where no legal recourse is available.