Crypto scam in Cairo has left hundreds in financial distress
“HoggPool” was a platform that promised Egyptians wealth through the latest, easiest way to gain money in the last decade: cryptocurrency investments. It turned out to be a complete scam.
“HoggPool” first appeared last August, promising Egyptians instant wealth through renting machines for mining cryptocurrency.
Mining happens through the use of powerful computers, where the miner does a series of mathematical problems to validate and create transactions to be added to a blockchain. A blockchain is a database that contains a growing list of records called blocks.
This blockchain is linked to a ledger that rewards anyone with the correct transaction with an amount of a particular cryptocurrency. Thus new coins are created and added to the network.
In Egypt, “HoggPool” introduced the whole concept of renting a mining computer, for $10 initially. Some people paid up to $200 which is around 6200 EGP. And some even paid up to 100,000 EGP.
The online platform paid people regularly and the rates they used were much less than that of the national banks in Egypt. Thus people would pay less for some amount of dollars that they can’t get at any bank.
For that $200 deal, the users were paid 160 EGP daily, for 150 days. And consequently the higher the investment, the higher the profit they were promised.
However, the platform suddenly disappeared on February 24th, leaving many victims with significant financial losses.
Now, 29 suspects are detained in Egypt and 13 of them are foreigners. The law in Egypt doesn’t allow investments in cryptocurrency and the fine imposed by the law can go up to $325,000. This law, passed in 2018, based on the Islamic doctrine, made all investments in cryptocurrency illegal.
Egypt’s ongoing economic crisis has many citizens seeking any alternative to their low- paying jobs, to ensure that they can maintain a decent living. And in such environment, scammers exploit people’s need for any way out, and rob them of any and sometimes all the money they have.
The Egyptian pound devaluation which reached 50% and inflation rates exceeding 20% in 2023 have people worried about two things, mostly, the means to survive tomorrow and the means to provide a better future for their kids.