Skip to main content

Another initial coin offering ‘exit scam’ steals $660M from Vietnam’s investors

A budding cryptocurrency firm located in Vietnam is accused of raising funds from an initial coin offering and disappearing with the money. Modern Tech, based in Ho Chi Minh City, set out to launch two cryptocurrency platforms: iFan for making payments between celebrities and fans, and Pincoin for general transactions backed by a rewards system. The company raised $660.79 million from around 32,000 investors before throwing on its invisibility cloak. 

An initial coin offering is a means to raise funds to launch a cryptocurrency platform. Investors shell out money in return for tokens (think stocks) that appreciate in value over time. Once the cryptocurrency platform is fully funded and goes live, these tokens can convert into virtual currency. The tokens served up by Modern Tech promised to “skyrocket” once the platforms went live. 

On the iFan front, the value of this specific cryptocurrency was expected to rise “on a daily basis” as the company signed on Vietnamese singers. Meanwhile, the value of Pincoin would rise as investors brought other individuals into the network, providing an 8 percent commission for each new Pincoin member. Ultimately, investors were promised a profit rate of 48 percent a month, and a full recoup all investments within four months. After that, investors could seemingly shower in money. 

At first, Modern Tech began paying commissions with real money. Investors watched as both cryptocurrency platforms increased in value on a daily basis, as promised. But eventually the company replaced cash payments with tokens that couldn’t be withdrawn for real world money. That suddenly raised a red flag for all investors. 

Victims turned to social media and forums to report their investment loss in Pincoin and iFan while on Sunday many parked in front of Modern Tech’s headquarters with signs to denounce the company and demand a refund. Victims are also currently signing an official complaint demanding a return of their investments. 

According to a report from Vietnam, the team behind the Pincoin and iFan initial coin offerings consist of seven Vietnamese nationals that lured investors by holding conferences in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other remote areas.  

Using initial coin offerings to raise cash for cryptocurrency platforms and disappearing with the money isn’t anything new. The method is called an “exit scam” and previously used by Confido, LoopX, Prodeum, Starscape Capital, Knoxcoin, and many others. The problem is that initial coin offerings, along with all cryptocurrency platforms, aren’t regulated, so there are no federal laws protecting investors. 

In North America, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) admitted that it was investigating companies and individuals for possibly violating securities laws through initial coin offerings. The SEC says virtual currencies should be listed as securities and registered with regulators given all promoters of initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies won’t “act responsibly” and abide by federal laws. 

“The SEC is undertaking significant efforts to educate the public that unregistered securities investments offered by unregistered promoters, with no securities lawyers or accountants on the scene, are, in a word, dangerous,” stated SEC chairman Jay Clayton. 

Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
This new Windows 11 setting could improve performance and battery life
Windows 11 updates are moving to once a year.

Yesterday, Microsoft released the Windows 11 26252 build, which brings a flood of innovations that will give users a much-needed power boost. One of those changes is a new power setting that will provide the user more control when their PC is on battery power or not, as Phantom Ocean 3 mentions in a post on X (formerly Twitter), which was noticed by Windows Latest.

In theory, this greater degree of control will allow your system to automate power settings so that you don't forget to manually switch them while plugged in or on battery.

Read more
Best Prime Day laptop deals in 2024: Surface Pro, Razer, HP, Dell
Best Prime Day Deals

We can smell Prime Day in the air. The shopping holiday kicks off on July 16 and runs through July 17. However, the discounts are already starting to sprout up, so we've collected some early Prime Day deals on laptops below. We've also broken down what to expect for the main event and how to approach buying a new laptop during Prime Day. This page will be ever-evolving (bookmark it!) as we know more, the event approaches, and more deals become available. Looking for something beyond laptops? Deals exist beyond laptops, of course, and we'll be covering all of the big categories and items you want in our main Prime Day deals coverage.

Today's best laptop deals
Prime Day officially runs from July 16 to July 17. If you want the most options in your deals, you should wait until then to buy a laptop. But, if you're struggling to keep that new laptop itch at bay, there are great laptop deals all year round. While we encourage you to wait until next month to get the widest selection, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of a deal right now, so long as it suits you.

Read more
Best Prime Day MacBook deals in 2024: Air, M1, M2, M3
Best Prime Day Deals

If you've been eagerly anticipating Prime Day 2024, your wait is almost over. Day One officially kicks off on July 16. It will run for two days until July 17 with loads of great discounts and offers. If you're thinking about buying a MacBook from this year's Prime Day deals, you won't have to wait for long. In fact, there are some early Prime Day laptop deals available right now. Apple's laptops carry premium prices for several good reasons, so there's always a high demand for discounts. You'll get a lot of opportunities with the upcoming Prime Day MacBook deals, but since you'll be racing against other shoppers to score the best bargains, we recommend that you prepare yourself for the shopping event with the tips we've gathered below.
Today's best MacBook deals

Officially, Amazon Prime Day 2024 arrives on July 16 and July 17 with its MacBook deals, so you're going to have to exercise some patience for a week or so. However, if you need a new MacBook as soon as possible, you should know that there are offers that you can take advantage of right now. We've rounded our favorite picks below -- you should know that these prices may go lower on Prime Day, but it can't be helped if you must have your new MacBook immediately.

Read more