Another Ethereum Startup Prodeum Vanished Into Thin Air After Collecting $11 from Investors for ICO and leaves behind a penis.
A relatively lesser known and somewhat amateurish Ethereum startup called Prodeum pulled off an exit scam this Sunday and duped ICO investors after cumulatively raising $11 USD in a crowdsale. The startup left its investors with just one word, “Penis.”
Prodeum was supposed to revolutionize the “fruit and vegetable industry” by enabling it on the Ethereum blockchain and developing a brand new price look-up (PLU) code system so that customers could track the location from where fruits and veggies are brought to them.
However, it abruptly disappeared from the web this weekend. The Prodeum website Prodeum.io is now redirecting visitors to a cryptocurrency trader’s Twitter account while its own Twitter handle has been deactivated and the ICOs promotion website TokenDesk has also removed Prodeum’s page from its database.
What actually happened was that on January 28th, the Lithuania based startup Prodeum’s website unexpectedly went down and its old layout was substituted with the word Penis displayed on a white backdrop. The website still remains unavailable and some Twitter users have pointed out that Prodeum might be paying Fiverr users to write their brand name on their bodies and post their pictured on social media.
According to MotherBoard, Prodeum is the second Ethereum startup that raised money from users for ICOs (initial coin offerings) but unlike another startup that raises millions of dollars through ICOs, this particular startup only managed to collect $11. The last startup that vanished after collecting funds in the name of ICOs, Confido, also made nearly $374,000 before disappearing from the web in late 2017.
Update: Another wallet belonging to Prodeum has been found with $100 that means the total stolen funds are $111
It is worth noting that when the ICO wallet of Prodeum that was being advertised as the main ICO address of the startup was checked, it contained $100. Hence, it is currently unclear exactly how much cash Prodeum has collected from its investors but since it made it to the ICO Watchlist, this means the startup did complete18% of its funding goals.
As per the information detailed in the white paper [PDF], Petar Jandric, Darius Rugevicius, Vytaustas Kaseta, and Rokas Vedluga are the collective owners of Prodeum and a deleted LinkedIn profile of Jandric has also been discovered by IBT. Its white paper also lists the ICO’s soft and hard caps at 2,100 and 5,400 ETH, while according to CoinMarketCap the latest rate of Ethereum is $1,194. Strangely though, now the white paper of Prodeum has also vanished from Google Docs.
However, according to Darius Rugevicius, his identity was misused by scammers to run the phony startup. In a statement on his LinkedIn profile, Rugevicius wrote that:
“Yesterday I became a victim of an identity theft. My name was used as a tool to attract investments into a project that I have neither no relation with nor ever heard of it before, I want to send my condolences to every Investor that has participated in the project named Prodeum. I will do my best to find and bring the people behind this violent act to justice. This event one more time proves how fragile our industry is and how important it is to conduct a thorough due diligence process before making an investment decision.”