The short "ERC-20 Blue" scam promises the scalability of Ethereum


A short-lived scam that promised to improve the scalability of the blockchain emerged yesterday. ERC-20 Blue, which attempted to attract Ethereum enthusiasts, was announced on a fake medium-sized blog that briefly posed as the Ethereum Foundation. The false account was quickly closed and the actual Ethereum blog was not involved in any way. So, what did the scam involve – and is he dead, or is he just waiting for his time?

The nature of the scam

Because the false account was canceled almost immediately, very little is known about the nature of the scam. However, the page URL (scaling-ethereum-with-erc-20-blue) implies that the scam intended to take advantage of the upcoming Ethereum scalability plans. Those plans are scheduled to be implemented some time in the next few years – which means that the scam could have hit a weak point in terms of credibility if it managed to survive.

Judging by the title of the post, the scam has proposed a new token called ERC-20 Blue. There is nothing technically wrong with this: a scalability project could theoretically have an attached token, but the fact that the author is presenting itself as the Ethereum Foundation is a red flag. Moreover, Ethereum does not intend to release a new token as part of its scalability efforts: the real scalability on the Ethereum network will mainly involve Casper and sharding.

In addition, the ERC-20 blue token shares its name with an existing token called Ethereum Blue. It is not clear if the author intentionally intended to impersonate this token or not. However, a similar incident occurred when Dogethereum, a legitimate project, generated an unrelated coin of the same name. It is also known that the harsh hard forks escape the popularity of the main currencies, making the sharing of names a common tactic of scammers.

Suggested reading : Click here for a complete list of Bitcoin hard forks.

Phishing prevention

In short, the ERC-20 Blue campaign seems to be an elaborate phishing campaign: a fake token that could easily be mistaken for a legitimate token coming from the Ethereum Foundation. Although blockchain data can be uniquely identified and verified, the same can not be said about the discussion surrounding them, making phishing a common line of attack in the cryptic world.

Phishing scams rely heavily on social media and content platforms, which take various levels of action against scammers. Twitter runs rampant with scammers who impersonate prominent personalities. Medium, on the other hand, took a heavy stance against fraudulent cryptography projects.

This means that Medium has probably shot down the same ERC-20 Blue page. Since the fraudster supposedly did not delete the page voluntarily, it is possible that the scam will re-emerge elsewhere on a milder platform.

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