Savedroid — a Blockchain PR stunt gone wrong

Source: Savedroid press kit

Yesterday the young and flourishing German ICO scene was shattered by the message that Savedroid — one of the first and very successful ICOs in Germany was a SCAM. The site was down. CEO Yassin Hankir posted on Twitter that he’s gone. Different media (even serious TV stations like ARD) speculated whether Savedroid was hacked.

But most saw enough evidence to spread FUD that this was a SCAM.

The savedroid community went mad. No admin was reachable in the telegram chat. No one was reachable via Twitter. People even tried to reach team members on their mobiles. No response. The whole team disappeared. People on Twitter claimed they would track down the CEO and kill him. Other players entered the arena. Hendrik Hey — founder of “Welt der Wunder” — another German ICO stepped in and offered to exchange his MILC ICO tokens for Savedroids SVD to help the SVD investors. Maybe this was part of the stunt. But other Scammers tried to use the panic in the community.

This morning savedroid is back. It was just a PR stunt to advertise a new service offering to consult ICOs. You can see the video here:

I saw Yassin personally at Blockchain meetups. He always seemed to be a trustworthy person. This was one of the reasons why I invested some Euros into this project. So I couldn’t believe he ran with the money, BUT:

I think this stunt really did harm his own project and the German ICO ecosystem:

  1. Germans are usually very careful regarding investments. That’s why Savedroid was successful in the first place: an app to incrementally save money resonates with Germans. Now extending to saving in crypto was a brilliant idea! Savedroid attracted people to invest in crypto for the first time with low investments in fiat currency like 10€. And now the team plays a theater that the only one thing happens that their investors already are afraid of: they run away with the money. Bad idea. It’s easy to lose trust. It’s really hard to build it up again…
  2. More general: If you want to teach people a lesson then you need to be perfectly fit in what you are teaching. I don’t think that this is the case here. Yes — Savedroid made a lot of money in the ICO and got even myself to invest into this project. 
    BUT: The whole post-ICO communication in telegram is far from great. The minting of the SVD tokens goes on for weeks with no clear end date. Lots of scammers are active in Savedroid’s telegram. The audience was very nervous already. This is no good foundation to perform a PR stunt like this and explain to others how a perfect ICO is managed. Sorry…
  3. Lack of focus: I don’t understand why Savedroid isn’t focussing on the mission they collected the money for. There should be a load of work to use that 40+ million Euro to develop the promised features and expand the app to the world. This will be a job! 
    I find it quite strange to spin off a consulting business in this situation. BUIDL and SHIPL should be at the core of your work now.

So I’m personally disappointed how this went. Let’s see if the team can manage to gain back trust quickly.

By the way: Savedroid can be also found on Medium.

Disclaimer: I’m (still) personally invested into Savedroid. This is not intended as financial advice in any form. On the contrary: This story shows how difficult things can be. Do your own research.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 317,629+ people.

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