In the brave new world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, scammers and copycats abound as pirates once did upon the high colonial seas, patrolling them like sharks looking for opportunities to raid schooners and ships and take their crew and booty captive. Naturally, they would go after the best prize first, and this same behavior holds true today. Recently a study was done finding 80% of ICOs undertaken in the year 2017 to be scams. As 2018 unfolds, it seems the crypto-currents of the ICO waters are still full of copycats and rip-off artists waiting to take the money and run. One such bogus project is the “OPTC Optical Network” hoax. This money trap is not only illegitimate but also plagiarized the Whitepaper of SmartMesh Foundation Ltd. (smartmesh.io) and in doing so, was so sloppy, that they didn’t even remove the words “SmartMesh” and “SMT” (the utility token of the SmartMesh project) out of the diagrams and text they copied!
Diagram plagiarized from the SmartMesh Whitepaper including references to the SMT Token
It seems that the “OPTC” scammers are young college students from Khazakstan attending school in China. In fact, the actual edition of the SmartMesh Whitepaper that they plagiarized was a Chinese version. Perhaps they thought they could evade the watchful eye of SmartMesh engineers and staff, but they thought wrong. In fact, this is not the first time the SmartMesh Whitepaper has been plagiarized. Other illegitimate projects like MTC have done it before. Clearly it takes a lot of due diligence to properly analyze any ICO and this is exactly why. These scammers even have photos with Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, to try to push their project. But with much of their architectural diagrams lifted right from the SmartMesh Whitepaper itself, it is really dubious if any detail of their project is actually original, and if they go ahead and develop the technology put forth in their lifted Whitepaper, they will also be guilty of infringing upon the intellectual property rights of SmartMesh Foundation Pte. Ltd. On top of that, the OPTC scammers have promised investors a 5 – 10-fold return on their initial capital input! It’s a sad state of affairs that young people with great aspirations resort to these foolish methods to try to propel their careers and fortunes, and instead foil them with false starts built on lies.
Nevertheless, events like this should reinforce the instincts of wary investors to always be on guard, like any seaworthy captain upon waters teeming with crow’s nests flying the Jolly Roger. A truly legitimate project will be sure to show itself through original thought, prevalent and frequent social and mainstream media publications, and ongoing results that are the fruits of much effort by the teams behind them. These are the lights that shine through the otherwise shady conditions of the crypto-world and lead the way to success. Please remain vigilant, develop a nose for quality, and take care of your investments carefully. Then you will be rewarded with value.