$600 Fraud? Fake ICO White Papers Are Drawing Scrutiny

A report from China's Beijing News says copywriters in China are offering to fabricate ICO white papers for a fee.

AccessTimeIconFeb 13, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:34 a.m. UTC

Months after China's clampdown on initial coin offerings (ICOs), professional copywriters are still offering white paper services that may include fabricating information, reports suggest.

The People's Bank of China notably banned domestic ICOs in September 2017, yet searches using key words such as "ICO," "blockchain" and "whitepaper" result in dozens of online stores on Alibaba's Taobao platform in China that provide ICO white paper copywriting, design and fundraising consultancy services.

According to an article published today by China's Beijing News, some of these services may have been involved in abetting questionable ICO projects by agreeing to falsify information in their white papers.

Undercover reporting conducted by the state-own news outlet with one store's customer service reveals that while ICO white paper copywriting costs $600, and also caters to those wanting to make false claims about a project's credibility.

"We can falsify the education and professional background of these ICO teams. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cambridge, Apple, Google, you name it. And we will ensure their profile pictures remain unsearchable on the internet," the service provider told the news outlet.

The report marks a continuation of the scrutiny the Chinese government and its state-owned media are taking over cryptocurrency trading and ICOs, which still remain active among Chinese investors via more indirect channels than prior to the ban.

The news also came just a day after the country's mouthpiece Xinhua news agency took aim at over-the-counter trading and ICOs that are available to Chinese residents having set up operations off-shore.

Taobao store image via Shutterstock

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