Giza Cryptocurrency Proves a Scam, Say Reports

March 14, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Recently, a phenomenon took place that’s increasingly seen lately: an initial coin offering (ICO) that looked like a good investment to interested parties. Perhaps even a shot at the brass ring: the Next Bitcoin of legend that would take a pittance and turn it into a fortune in a couple short years. That ICO was known as Giza, and reports suggest that it left $2 million worth of investment—and the investors therein—holding the bag.

The reports suggest that somebody—or potentially several somebodies—took pictures from someone else’s Instagram and used said pictures to create a completely different persona on LinkedIn. On the strength of that persona—later dubbed Marco Fike, who held the rank of chief operations officer in Giza—the person or persons involved launched the Giza ICO, pulling in over $2 million in investment.

Giza used the ICO as a means to fund development of a new device designed to be an ultra-secure storage mechanism for cryptocurrencies. Along the way, warning signs started to emerge, including troubles with the company’s only supplier and a lack of word from Fike or anyone else in the group’s C-suite.

Giza ultimately contracted a firm, Third Pin LLC, to actually manufacture the devices in question, but when top brass at Giza couldn’t answer basic questions about quantities needed or timelines required for delivery, suspicions rose. Perhaps the biggest nail in Giza’s coffin came when its legal advisor, Gresham International, cut ties with Giza, and its point of contact therein Cal Evans ultimately vowed “We are going to do whatever we can to catch these guys.”

Operations like this only serve to degrade trust and ultimately hinder the market. It gives fuel to regulators to step in and, as is commonly the case with regulation or even over-regulation, ultimately do more harm than good. Granted, not every ICO turns out well. Sometimes, through no fault in particular, a release just doesn’t live up to the hype, or fails to reach some goal or another. It’s entirely possible that Giza found out that its device perhaps violated a patent, or wasn’t possible to produce in its intended format.

Benefit of the doubt aside, however, Giza’s ongoing lack of communication with its investor base is largely unsettling, and may portend something much darker going forward.